Generate more income and attract more clients
In this blog post we’re going to learn how to generate more income and attract more clients to your marketing funnel business. Imagine being able to reduce the number of hours per week that you work, while also being able to generate income if you went away on holiday.
Pay yourself a salary and save some money
If you’re anything like me, you are looking for your business to pay you a salary, while you personally are also looking to save some money. We can do all of this in 2019 and beyond with your marketing funnel business.
Define a niche that you are confident about
To do this we need to increase our prices and define a niche that we are confident about. The hardest part about choosing a niche, is knowing that you’re about to commit to the right niche. I’m going to show you how to define a niche the right way, and become the #1 player in that market.
Be 100% confident with your pricing
This blog post is also going to teach you how to guarantee every project is profitable, as well as scaling your business to profitability. I’m going to help you become 100% confident with your pricing as well, as allow you to become selective with the clients that you work with.
Know when to stick with your business or quit
What would it mean to you and your business, if you knew when to stick with your business plan or if you should quit? Having the confidence to know you’re on the right path, even though it’s taking longer than you expected or if people tell you you’re on the wrong path, could be the key to your success.
Become clear on your vision and future
In order to create a profitable, successful marketing funnel business, we need to have a clear vision of your future. Imagine being so clear on your vision that every day you knew what to do, to start building a profitable, successful funnel business.
Find a market and product you’re obsessed with
I also want to help you find a market and product that you’re obsessed with. If you’re working towards something you want and you’re obsessed with, you’ll become an extremely powerful force in your marketplace. This also allows you to sell products and services easy to customers, without fear of rejection or a lack of interest from the marketplace.
Motivate yourself to work longer and harder
This blog post is also can help you motivate yourself to work longer and harder. Every day. The mark of a successful business isn’t just the amount of hours that you work, but the ability to make one more call, send one more email or close one more customer after your competition have quit.
I want to help you find the energy, motivation and discipline to working harder and longer, than anyone else in your marketplace.
Become more productive than ever
But it’s also about being productive, and truly productive. Not just efficient or busy. If you know what you need from your future, and what you want your business to look like, everything else falls into place. Deciding a niche, creating a marketing strategy and attracting clients becomes obvious when you know what you’re looking for.
In order to do that, you’ll have to be productive and I want to show you how.
Have more time to spend with family and friends and doing things you love
Think to the future and imagine being able to spend more time with family and friends and doing the things that you love. Is your business, pulling you away from your own life? I want to show you how you can take time off to spend time with family and friends. I want to show you how you can enjoy life, guilt free, without having to work every single day.
Reduce your admin and expenses
We also going to look at reducing your admin and expenses. The key to running a profitable successful marketing funnel business is allowing you as the owner time to design and delegate a profitable business. While allowing others to take care of your admin-such as taxes, bookkeeping, content uploads and support.
Of course reducing expenses is also critical. One of the biggest expenses that funnel builders face, is new tools and systems that promise to be the next big thing. But in fact they just become an expense item. If you have a plan as strong as the one in this blog post, you’ll know whether you should or shouldn’t by any of the shiny objects and tools that are sold to you.
Create a repeatable service and product that attracts predictable income
This blog post is going to help you create a repeatable service or product, that attracts predictable income. One of the biggest desires I see in marketing funnel businesses, from funnel builders and entrepreneurs, is the ability to create repeat predictable income. This happens when you have a repeat predictable product. All too often we create marketing services based on what our customers want at the time, rather than standardising our delivery. I’m going to help you do that.
Define success and profitability and become happy with your business
Perhaps most importantly, if you don’t know what success looks like to you, you’ll never feel successful. We’re going to define what success means to us as well as what a profitable business looks like to us. It might sound obvious, but often businesses never become profitable because they don’t know what they’re aiming for. They end up walking around in circles hoping that profitability will find them.
Become a marketing funnel rockstar
By the end of this post you’re going to become a marketing funnel rockstar. Rather than just another funnel business or digital marketing company. We’re going to position you as someone who doesn’t just make marketing funnels work, but makes marketing funnels sing.
Become the most valuable and trusted supplier to your market and customers
I want to help you become the most valuable and trusted supplier, to your market and customers. If you are the funnel builder and supplier that your audience trusts, you’ll have no problem attracting more income. If we can attract more income we can raise prices. When we raise our prices we can save and protect our income, while investing in our own businesses future. All of this becomes cyclical, but only when we guide our business to become our audiences most trusted and valuable supplier.
Define and dominate a niche
Finally, and perhaps our most requested area to help with, is that we’re going to help you define a niche and then dominate that market. Finding a niche is the fastest way to differentiate yourself from every other low value funnel builder. If you want to start increasing your prices, attracting more customers and position yourself away from the commoditised digital marketing players-you need to define a niche.
What’s stopping you from running a profitable, successful funnel business?
No matter how much you work you’ve never got any money left over
Have you ever looked at your bank balance and thought “I’m pretty sure I earned more than that?”
There doesn’t seem to be a correlation between the number of hours I work or the effort I put in, compared to what’s in my bank balance. I know what I need to earn per month, and while I always just seem to scrape through, there never seems to be any left over.
Experience customers still haggle on price with you
And despite all your experience, you still have customers haggle with you over price. Combined with your struggle to attract and keep income, it can be extremely demoralising to help a business, only to be left with nothing to show for it. Especially if it was so hard to get that customer in the first place.
Despite everyone telling you how important marketing and funnels are, no one seems to want to buy
One of the biggest things I struggled with, was seeing, reading and hearing all these marketing experts tell us how important marketing funnels are. I began to wonder if it’s just the converted leading the converted. I would hear about how marketing funnels and automation can grow a business, but none of my customers seemed to want to buy.
It was an uphill struggle to even talk to customers about spending more money on their website (which already wasn’t working), yet alone to explain to them what a marketing funnel was.
Everyone else seems to have more customers than you
But paradoxically, I would look around and it seemed like everyone had dozens or even hundreds of customers. All of my friends, colleagues and competitors seem to have loads of clients and be really busy and successful. I was a member of multiple networks that were all telling me just how brilliantly they were doing.
I simply couldn’t figure out what it was I was doing wrong.
You can’t see a way to sell marketing funnels without you delivering them
If you’ve ever landed a marketing funnel project, one of your biggest fears is probably letting someone else take the reins. There’s nothing more terrifying than landing a client, only to have someone else mess up the relationship or worse, steal it from you.
You can see that this is the biggest roadblock holding you back from scaling. But you still struggle to hire anyone to take on work that you’ve landed. You hate the idea of working really hard at landing and selling a customer, only to have someone that you hire either do a bad job or ruin the relationship with the customer.
Your network tells you how hard it is to grow
This combines with the overwhelming sentiment in small business, digital creative and entrepreneur networks, that it is extremely hard to grow your business. It’s a bit like standing at the bottom of the mountain and feeling overwhelmed at the journey ahead, only to have everyone else around you remind you how hard it is.
If you are unlucky enough to be struggling to grow now, it simply reinforces the idea that you might be doing something wrong.
You’ve tried hiring staff in the past and it just hasn’t worked
If you’ve tried hiring staff in the past, you’ll know just how difficult it can be to get the results that you would expect. Outsourced help or staff are either way too expensive for your customers, or they do such a bad job that you have to repeat the process anyway.
If you’ve ever been caught in the trap of having to answer question after question for your staff, it can seem faster and easier to just do it yourself. Bringing you back to square one.
Staff and outsourcing people don’t do a good job and waste your time
Even if they do complete the work or tasks, they can end up doing such a bad job that you have to redo everything yourself. Or they require so much management that you spend less time building the business and growing a business, and more time managing your staff.
Even though you have a great product, you still struggle to attract more clients
At its core it’s unfathomable to you to figure out why, despite having something that can actually help and grow businesses, customers would still rather waste their money elsewhere. You’re struggling to attract clients even though you have a great product, delivery and attitude.
Those clients you do attract are difficult to work with
Seemingly the clients that you do attract, are difficult to work with. They have impossible expectations and argue with you about each choice. Even though they’ve hired you as the expert and they’re paying you, they still insist that their nephew who has “a real flair for design”, might have a better idea.
You set up this business so you wouldn’t have to have a job, but you’ve got less time and money than ever
You work all the hours God sends, you’re proud to be a business owner or entrepreneur, but you’ve got less time and money than ever. The dream that was sold to you was you can quit your job, start up a business and manage your own time and money.
I often joke as an entrepreneur when people tell me”It must be nice to choose your own hours”, that yes it is nice to choose my own hours. “I can choose to not earn money any time I want to”.
You might not have aspirations of running a multi-million dollar funnel agency, but having enough time to spend with family and friends without having to work on idiot customer requests would be a nice balance.
You are unmotivated to work in the morning, but find yourself working late into the evening
All of this compounds itself into making it harder to motivate yourself every morning. If you woke up every day and knew that your actions were working towards a better end goal, and you had a balance of time money and work, it’d be easy to get up in the morning.
Instead, you’re struggling to get out of bed in the morning and motivate yourself to keep working because it seems that every day you do you only dig yourself further into a rut.
Every few weeks it seems someone has got a new business idea or opportunity
When you’re at your lowest and your browsing Facebook or Instagram or YouTube, it seems that every new internet marketing guru and expert has got a brand-new moneymaking, get rich quick opportunity. They film themselves with a hired Lamborghini model in the background, on a leased AirBnB property, telling you how you can make $25,000 a day selling fidget spinners, or fathers day mugs or consulting coffee shops or selling this brand-new piece of software.
This can seem extremely tempting when you are unmotivated and struggling with your own business. It looks like everyone else has got “the key” or the secret, or the next big thing, or a real moneymaking opportunity. And you sometimes find yourself questioning “am I the right business?”
You’ve wasted tons of money on courses that don’t deliver
You’ve already wasted a ton of money on courses and membership programs that don’t work. They might have been for different products, services or business ideas. But you know just how far a $297 course goes. The problem is that you’ve bought so many of them over the years, that it doesn’t even feel like your situation can be changed.
It even seems that in those groups, some of the members must be bots or paid actors because surely no one can get results this incredible, when you all seemed to start from the same place only a few weeks ago.
Your bank balance doesn’t seem to be growing, but your expenses are
At the end of every month you notice that your expenses seem to go up, and even though you’ve earned more you don’t have any left over. The bank balance doesn’t seem to be growing, and you seem to be going through more money every single month just to keep up.
The market is becoming more and more crowded with low cost/low value competitors
You also notice that in your social groups and business networks and online, more and more low value players entering the market. Just like with websites in the 2010s, funnels and marketing services and automation are being offered on Fiverr or on Instagram for $500. It seems like the market has already moved to a commodity place for extremely complex funnel and automation services.
You’re not sure if you want to run a marketing funnel business any more
When it gets down to it, you’re not even sure if you want to run a marketing funnel business any more. You entered it because you genuinely want to help businesses grow and attract more clients. You like the idea of making money for yourself by making money from other people. You might even be helping incredibly important businesses reach and help more of their customers. But it’s such hard work to grow, that you’re not even sure that this is worth all the effort.
Here’s where most funnel builders go wrong
There’s too many people telling you how to run your business (and none of them have ever run YOUR business)
I think the biggest misconception that funnel builders have to deal with every single day, is that someone else knows how to run their business. You’ve got global mega superstars like Gary Vaynerchuk and Grant Cardone (who I love by the way-but read on) telling you how you should run your business and how obsessed you should be with getting results. Then you have jackasses like me and other small business content creators telling you where the next opportunity is.
The problem is that none of them have ever run your business. So many experts and gurus who are telling you how to run a successful business, are actually telling you how they run their successful business.
All the information out there on selling services, especially marketing funnels, is incorrect
As a sales coach and as someone who is proud to call myself a salesperson. I see mountains of terrible terrible sales advice.
Unless you have a sales role, or rainmaker role within your business, you must be the person who attracts clients. If you don’t like to reach out and attract clients it means 1 of 2 things.
- You’re afraid of sales and of being rejected and you’ve got a icky idea of selling
- You shouldn’t be running a business
Being creative, designing and creating content is all worthwhile. But the single most important role of the business owner and entrepreneur is to raise capital. Predominantly through selling products and services to customers, but also through investment.
If you’ve hired before and it hasn’t worked out, that’s your fault
One of the biggest misconceptions we have about running a business, is when we hire staff. If you hire someone to do a job, and they do a bad job, that is 100% absolutely your fault. The sooner you accept that responsibility, for other people’s performance in your business, you can start hiring the right people.
They are never going to be able to get the 100% perfection that you achieve. And even then, are you really so perfect?
But if a staff member can do 80% of what you train them to do, after you provided them with documentation, that’s considered an outstanding result. Most of the time staff hires go wrong, because there is no defined job role, no job role responsibility or accountability and no job role documentation. All of those things are your fault. Also, your expectations are probably too high.
The market doesn’t dictate the price, you dictate the price
When starting any business, we’re told trite but true statements such as “the market dictates the price”. This can often lead us to reducing our price and following what customers want to pay, rather than doing our best to sell and convince people that we are worth a higher price.
If you listen to the “market”, you will have your entire business run by them and it will never go in a direction. The market doesn’t dictate the price, you dictate the price. Your job as an entrepreneur and business owner, is to justify the value that you bring in exchange for the price that you desire.
You’ve tried blog content, videos, podcasts for your business before and it hasn’t led anywhere
If you’ve tried creating content through videos, YouTube, podcasts, blogging, Instagram and more. You’ll know it’s a long grind. If you’ve tried these things before, and you think they don’t work for you, my question is “how long did you try them for?”
Unless you’ve been consistently creating content at least once or twice a week “at a minimum”, for over 18 months, you will never see any results.
There is absolutely no quick win or fast traction when it comes to creating content, defining and dominating a niche, and attracting more clients. However there is a way to increase your credibility very quickly, which will go into, using content.
Influencers with 100,000’s of followers are not reflective of the market
When you look at who you follow online, influencers and businesses with hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers and subscribers are not reflective of your market.
Your business could easily be a top tier six-figure business with just a few thousand subscribers and followers. 1000 customers paying $1000 per year would give you a $1 million business. While having hundreds of thousands of followers might be useful, often we find during events such as the adpocalypse on YouTube, or Facebook changing its terms of conditions, businesses with hundreds of thousands of followers can quickly become bankrupt as they have no real way of generating revenue.
There is not some magic profitable hidden niche
The single biggest misconception that you are going to have to get over, is that there is some magic hidden niche, filled with customers with their pockets overflowing with money. There is absolutely no one sat around thinking “I’ve got too much money and need to spend some”.
A niche is something that you define and you decide to go after. Yes you can get feedback relatively quickly, you might even find some initial traction quickly and position yourself as #1 in that market. However it is still a grind and requires consistent hard work and dedication to that niche, and proving that you care about them more than anyone else, and that no one else will serve them, in order for you to grow inside that niche.
Women that want a safe place to work out without mirrors, windows and men leering at them didn’t know they wanted Shapes the gym. While Shapes might be a multi-million dollar business now, it took years of hard work and grind and consistently selling to an audience, proving that the founders Debbie Harris along with Vince Julien cared about their customers more than anyone else, before they exploded into growth.
“It takes 20 years to become an overnight success.”
There is not some magic secret business opportunity that will make you super profitable
There is also no secret magic business opportunity, that will make you super profitable individually. Dropshipping, bitcoin, link farming, fidget spinners, Fortnite streaming, YouTube pranks and Facebook messenger chat bots have all made a lot of people very rich. Most of them however are selling courses on how to do it.
For example Alex Becker who teaches how to dropship, has never made a single cent drop shipping. But he made a lot of money selling courses on how to dropship.
Wealth and profit are found from spending long enough sowing and long enough reaping. Most people give up before their first “season”, and never experience the benefits of reaping. They try to harvest too quickly, lower their price and expectations and then wonder why they’re not profitable.
Every single business opportunity has the potential to be profitable, if given enough time, resources and focus. Just deciding that you’re going go into a completely different area such as, email marketing, Facebook ads or landing page design does not mean you will be inherently profitable by definition. But you will find success if you give it long enough.
Funnel builders must take advantage of these opportunities
More and more low cost players entering the market, creating a commodity
As the Internet opens up globally, with an expected 2 billion new users by 2025, it’s inevitable that more and more low value and low cost players will be entering the market.
Look, it happened with grocery stores, website design, legal advice, coffee and every other business in the world. Building funnels and marketing services are not immune. When businesses try to compete and have a race to the bottom on price, they become a commodity.
Like all commodities if you want to differentiate yourself you must define a niche and dominate it
When you are surrounded by low value players who are happy to charge little to nothing for their business services, you’re entering a commodity market. The only way to become profitable in a commodity market is by becoming a brand and defining a niche.
This isn’t a matter of opinion, this is simple business fact. If you are complaining that you have to reduce your price every time you speak to a customer because someone else is offering that same product cheaper, it’s because people don’t perceive you as a brand and you are not appealing to a specific market or niche.
The fastest way to increase your prices, discover more customers and attract customers without having to beg for them, is to create a brand and dominate a niche.
The cost of everything, not just running your business, is going up every year
The very nature of our economy means that the value of our currency goes down, while the cost of everything goes up. This is not just your business expenses, this is your living expenses as well. You have to outperform the increase in cost and inflation by adding more value to your business. This might not mean simply adding more customers, this means increasing the prices and increasing the value that you put back into the market.
Therefore we must increase our sales and revenue
If we don’t address the need to increase our sales and revenue, our business will go under. There is absolutely nothing we can do about that, we might as well find a strategy that we are comfortable committing to in order to increase sales and revenue.
If last year you sold 10 projects per $10,000 you need to increase both the number of customers and the average value of each sale.
As more technology comes into the marketplace, we have a massive opportunity to connect with our audience, market and customers
The beautiful thing though is that as more technology comes into the marketplace, will be able to add more value to our customers. By utilising smarter and smarter technology, we can increase the rate at which we grow our business and our customers businesses. More and more players will enter the market with specialisations in these new technologies, which we can use and resell to our customers.
But it doesn’t mean we should ignore having conversations in lieu of pushing content out
The danger though is that as new technology enters the market, we use it as another excuse to complete busy work, such as setting up automations, chat bots or remarketing campaigns, rather than creating useful valuable content and positioning ourselves as the brand leader in our niche. There’s that phrase again.
There are many technology types that will make building funnels easier
As funnels become easier and faster to build, it’s our dedication to our customers and marketplace and niche that will secure our business growth. In 5 years time when a brand-new technology enters the marketplace, it’s not our dedication to the technology or tools that will define our success, but our continued dedication to our customers and audience.
Businesses that survive economic downturns, massive sudden changes in market trends and the test of time, do so because of their dedication to a market.
“Businesses are defined by the markets they serve, not the products they sell.”
Which should provide us an opportunity to scale our business with outsourced work
This however provides us with an enormous opportunity to scale our business with outsourced work. We can use the same technologies to attract and appeal to more customers within our audience base. While also offering those same services to our customers. Our job becomes attracting clients and growing audience, while other people are able to deliver those results. And believe me, they can deliver better results than you can.
Customers are expecting more for their marketing budget, and if we don’t deliver they will stop using us
The biggest expectation and trend is that our customers will expect more and more from their marketing budget. We are lucky to be in a period of economic growth at the moment, but a crash or downturn is just around the corner. Businesses that are smart to continue to expand sales and marketing operations during economic downturns, but all businesses are expecting more return for their marketing spend.
But wait, it gets worse…
The technology you use will not determine how successful your funnel business is
I know businesses that make 6 to 7 figures with a simple laptop and absolutely no spend on marketing automation platforms. I also know marketing businesses that spend tens of thousands of dollars on marketing platforms, software, automation and staff and who barely scrape by.
Jumping on brand-new technology, tools and platforms will not determine the success of your business.
We think our ability to adapt to new situations and trends is critical to the survival of our business.
However in truth, committing to serving an audience is what really matters. If you can use a new technology to serve your market and serve it well, then it’s absolutely worth investing in. But I still don’t know a business that hasn’t successfully grown, that doesn’t use the telephone to have conversations with their customers.
You’re a creative and you don’t like “selling”
You might really struggle with the concept of selling or being a salesperson. Maybe you’re shy, maybe you don’t think you’ve got the natural talent, maybe you consider yourself a creative or maybe you just consider sales beneath you.
But sales is the only business activity that is responsible for 100% of your revenue. You can create the most incredible products in the world and be the world’s greatest funnel builder.But you will never make as much money, or be financially secure as someone who does a mediocre job who’s willing to get out there and sell.
To get over your fear of sales is not adopting a Alec Baldwin style pinstripe suit wearing sales approach. It’s understanding that sales is just serving a market, and working out whether it makes sense for two parties to work together.
When a doctor tries to convince you that you need to set the bone, get a cast, take anaesthetics and then go 4 months of rehab-he doesn’t care how awkward it makes him feel, but he’s going to sell that procedure and process to you.
The key to getting over sales is to truly commit to serving your market more than anyone else.
You’re scared to niche down even though you understand why you should do it
If all this talk of sales and money is scaring you, you’ve still got to deal with settling on a niche. Small business is not a niche. Service businesses are not a niche. In fact, a niche isn’t even a market. A niche is a defined problem that you solve or result that you generate, for a group of people that no one else wants to serve. A niche is not a marketplace, and niche is something your business defines and your business creates.
If you’re scared to niche down, even though you understand why you should do it, that’s your subconscious running your business. That’s your 100 million year old lizard brain defining how you run your business. My lizard brain might be really good at telling me when to run away from predators, but I’m not gonna take advice from it on how to run and grow my business.
You have to understand that choosing a niche, defining niche and committing to a niche is no more scary than learning how to drive, walking for the first time or asking someone out at the bar. You don’t get it unless you do it.
I’m going to teach you how to run a successful profitable marketing funnel business in 2019
I’m going to tell you everything you need to know to run a profitable successful marketing business, inside this blog post. We’ve got a full-blown in-depth course available on exactly the same subject with over 40 worksheets, that takes you from not knowing who your market is and how much to charge through to a profitable successful marketing funnel business that attracts sales easily and dominates a defined niche.
But in the interest of giving everything away for free first, I’ll teach you everything I know in this blog post. If you find any of this useful I’d genuinely appreciate your feedback. You can either use the comments below to let me know your biggest takeaway or email me firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what you think.
We’re going to cover 7 core aspects of building a profitable, successful funnel business
In my experience there are 7 core aspects of building a profitable successful funnel business. It’s got nothing to do with the technology you use tools you use or the process of building funnels. It entirely based around what you define as profitable and successful.
- Truths of running any business
- Vision values and mindset
- Your market and niche
- Planning your funnel business
- Money management and pricing
- Creating a product offer
- Finding your first customer
You will understand why all businesses succeed (or fail) not just funnel businesses
We can cover the truths of running absolutely all businesses, not just funnel businesses and not just your businesses. We’ll explore why businesses fail and why businesses succeed. It’s easier than it sounds for all of them, you’ll be surprised at how many of the mistakes you are already making.
We’ll explore why you, your values and your brain are the most important aspect of running any business
Your brain is going to take you to lofty heights of success and profitability, or prevent your business from growing and continuing to stagnate. Until we understand why your brain does the things it does, and what you take for granted in your day-to-day life, we can never grow past the state that you are already in. It’s a bit like a goldfish that grows to its environment, at the moment you’re in a fish tank. We’re going to move you to an Olympic size swimming.
Most people focus on the product or deliverable first, we are going to find a market first
Most people when thinking of a business or how to grow the business, will think of the product first. They want to deliver a particular service or a particular business opportunity, when in fact we need to find a market first. We need to define who our market is before we decide what it is that we are going to serve them.
“Find products for your customers, not customers for your products.”
We are going to make sure that the final business works for you and gives you what you need
Again before creating a product or service, we have to design a business that allows you the time, flexibility and income that you desire. We’ll give your business a direction and a goal to work towards, as well as a system that allows you to manage its growth rather than just doing work as and when it comes in.
I’m going to guarantee profits, and the ability to pay yourself
Perhaps most importantly I can help you guarantee your business is profitable, every single project is profitable and give you the ability to pay yourself. Imagine being able to pay yourself a wage by the end of reading this blog post.
We’ll create a product and offer that your market wants and you will be happy to sell
There are 2 halves to the sales journey. First of all your market has to want it, and second of all you have to want to sell it. We can create a product or offer that you’re not only happy to sell, but excited to sell and even feel morally obliged to sell to a market, that wants to buy it.
We’ll show you how to find your first customer or tenth or hundredth
Finally I’m going to show you a repeatable process for attracting new clients, selling to them and closing them. If you can find 1 customer with your new product with your new business, you can find 10 and then you can find 100.
Mike Killen, broke funnel builder
I was broke funnel builder living at home, borrowing money from my girlfriend and family. No one in my local area wanted a website at the price I needed to charge.
I had plans to buy a house and start a family, but that wasn’t going to happen unless I could make some money. That’s when I started reading every book I could find on running a successful business and selling marketing services.
I started to apply everything I learnt and I found a mentor in Troy Dean from WPElevation.
I wrote out how my business would be profitable and make money. I ignored everyone who told me that it wasn’t done that way And I stuck to my plan to make my business profitable.
Within 11 months we bought our first home. I was speaking internationally. And now, I no longer have to search for customers because they seek me out.
This wasn’t an overnight result, but it was an overnight change in myself. It still requires dedication and hard work to continue every day.
In this blog post I’m also going to explain the single biggest reason why all businesses fail.
Truths of running any business
There are plenty of paradoxes in running a business. The first one is that your funnel business will be completely unique, but must be like every other successful business.
There are universal truths to running any business. You can customise your business to work around your lifestyle, your needs and your skill set. But in order to find that success you must adhere to certain rules that allow your business to be successful.
It’s a bit like you can write a book about whatever you want, based on your experiences, with your style and language. But it has to have a cover, a beginning, middle and end.
The paradox is that while there will be certain undeniable truths that you must run within your business, in order for it to be successful. You’ll also create something unique that no one else can replicate.
Why businesses fail
Many reasons are attributed to businesses failing. Not enough customers, not a big enough market, priced to high, priced too low, no willing investors, not a good product idea, not good marketing, mismanagement of money, not enough sales etc.
There is only one reason why businesses fail. Businesses fail because the owner or entrepreneur gives up. Any time there is something wrong in your business or life, that’s feedback to you that you need to change something. The reason businesses fail is because they ignore the feedback and decide to give up as a response.
This might sound harsh or even reductionist, but that is the ultimate truth. Businesses fail when the owner decides that they have failed.
When you face a problem, if you quit then, that’s failure
When larger than expected tax bills come in, or unhappy customers demand entire refunds, or you are unhappy with the house you live in or the car you drive. These are all types of feedback. These are all problems that you can interpret as feedback to change your actions. If you decide to quit because of these problems, that is failure.
Experiencing the problem and recognising the feedback, is not failure. Quitting because of the problem and ignoring the feedback is failure.
Successful businesses face problems, overcome them around no matter how big they seem and grow stronger
When you first start your business your problems will seem massive and insurmountable. But looking back in 1 year, 3 years or 15 years time, those problems will seem insignificant. Businesses are successful because they face problems head on, understand why they are problems and interpret them as feedback.
“We need to drive more sales”.
“We have to prepare for our tax bills better next year”.
“I want to live in a better house and drive a nicer car”.
When you overcome those problems no matter how big they seem, that is how you grow stronger and that is how you become successful. A marketing funnel business is no different from a graphic design business, online clothes retailer or $10 million consultancy. Every business experiences problems, and every single 1 of them can be overcome. Businesses succeed because they overcome problems, not because they don’t experience any.
You are going to experience problems in every single business, niche and opportunity that you go after. There is no such thing as an easier path. And if you don’t start dealing with smaller problems you’ll never reach bigger problems. And bigger problems are where bigger successes lie.
You must learn from overcoming problems, in order to become better
Unless you’re willing to overcome problems and listen to the feedback that the world is giving you, you’ll never become better. In order to become a better, stronger, more profitable business, owner and entrepreneur. You must listen to the feedback the world is giving you, react accordingly and appropriately and overcome those problems.
Your subconscious fear will dictate how successful you are, if you listen to it
The insane thing about running a business, is that so many entrepreneurs who pride themselves on being logical, focused, motivated, hard-working and driven are actually ruled by the most primitive part of their brain.
The emotion that drives most people’s businesses is fear. The biggest lie that I hear from funnel builders and business owners in general, is that they aren’t afraid of hard work. Because no matter how often I hear someone say that, when they reach out to me and ask for advice, I can’t help but cringe because I know that they are afraid of something. They are afraid of fear.
When I put a simple, repetitive plan in front of many business owners, that requires them to create content, decide on a niche, promote their business and make sales. They tell me that they understand the work and that it doesn’t even seem that hard. But the only thing stopping them is the primal part of their brain which controls fear.
If you don’t have a conscious awareness of when fear is making decisions for you, your business will never be successful. I know of incredibly gifted marketers, designers, salespeople as well as academics, business owners and engineers who all believe that they couldn’t possibly do anything different or better because they are ruled by fear.
The primal urge of self-preservation through experiencing fear, controls 99% of the world’s decisions. I of course am not immune to this. I also experience fear as much as anybody else. But businesses that are successful or that experience success as they define it, do so because they ignore the emotion of fear in their brain.
They know that the emotion of fear is both temporary and often exaggerated. We think about the worst thing that could happen, rather than the best thing that could happen. Most of the time when we commit to an action and repeatedly act on it with focus, our fears are unfounded.
You must learn to manage your fear and listen to it. It’s important to understand that fear exists, and it’s extremely useful when walking down a dark alley or around a pride of lions. But your fear of publishing content, changing your business model and doing something different in your business, is only going to hold you back.
Some of the truths that I’m about to explain to you about why businesses are successful, will induce stomach churning, nauseating fear. Your job is to get over that fear and commit to the future that you want to build.
Business owners who deliver the service are not profitable
Any business where the owner or entrepreneur or founder has to deliver the results, are by definition not profitable. I could quote Michael Gerber, Robert Kiosaki, John Warrillow, Mike Michalowicz, Darren Hardy, Alan Weiss and many others.
We know that the founder of the business must design and delegate the operations, rather than deliver the results. Jeff Bezos doesn’t deliver parcels for Amazon. Walt Disney didn’t draw cartoons for Disney. The biggest hurdle that many business owners have to get over, especially when running a marketing funnel business, is that they shouldn’t deliver the results.
We tell ourselves all kinds of lies such as “I don’t want to get too big” or “I’ve tried hiring before and it didn’t work out”, to justify why we are delivering the results. But the single biggest change that you will have to make in your business, if you want to run a profitable successful marketing funnel business, is that you can’t be the person to deliver results.
Many services have a limit to the number of customers they can help
One of the side effects to failing to scale your business, is it you are limiting the number of customers that you can help. We talked about a moral obligation to help as many people as possible, but from a sheer income and revenue perspective, the more customers you help the more you get paid.
By removing the limit on the number of people we can help we exponentially grow our outreach, audience, brand, customer database and income.
Products and services that aren’t standardised and repeatable – aren’t profitable
If we are starting as a one person or a small business, we must introduce standardisation and repeatable processes for our customers. Even if you’re just one person and you are delivering all the work yourself, the more standardised your service, the more profitable you are. Deviations from a standard process, reduce profitability.
If you can deliver the same service to all customers for a standardised fee, you are by definition more profitable. It also almost impossible to hire and scale and grow a business, when you don’t have a standardised way of delivering services.
Vision values and mindset
Your brain and mindset will craft the business that you constantly think about. While we are trying to build a business that doesn’t rely on us, it still requires our vision to give it direction. Without an end goal in mind, your business will always just go around in circles.
In experiments done where participants are placed in a random forest or desert, without a compass, they will naturally walk in circles. Unless there is a clear landmark on the horizon for them to follow, human beings inevitably walk round in circles over and over. Many businesses are the same.
We’re very good at actions that keep our business alive, and we keep our business going. But we don’t have a landmark on the horizon. Without a landmark on the horizon, your business will keep going in circles and will never go in a straight line or climb any higher.
Wherever you’re looking is where you go
In almost every sport, one of the first rules you are taught is wherever you are looking is where you will go. In my case surfing is the sport where I learned this lesson. If you look down at your feet you will fall over your feet. If you look at the beach ahead of you, you’ll go in a straight line. If you turn to the left or right and look ahead of you through the wave, you’ll follow along that wave.
It’s the same for gymnastics, rugby, football, running and almost every other sport. Wherever you look is where you’ll go.
You need to be constantly looking at the horizon on a singular goal. This is your vision. You must have a clear vision of where you and your business will end up when you reach the horizon. One of the biggest problems that many businesses face, including funnel businesses, is having too many landmarks on the horizon.
Pick one and make a beeline for it. Rather than trying to reach as many destinations as possible. Your vision really is as simple as this, but it does mean you’ll have to make a very important and sometimes very difficult choice.
Unless you know what you want, you’ll never get it
And that choice is knowing what you want. Your goal and vision needs to be so clear that it appears to ignore all other possible goals. If you want to grow your business to $100,000 a month, then that must be the vision. If you want to have 5 offices around the world, then that must be your vision.
You have to have a singular endgame in mind, in order to be able to reach it. The difficult part comes in choosing what that endgame is. And this is where most people fall down.
Because they would rather not pick a goal at all, in case they miss out on all the other goals, they never reach any of them.
Focusing on 1 goal is more important than starting 5
You don’t finish one marathon by starting 10. Until you have successfully marked one of your goals off your list, be that a massive life changing, world shattering vision for the future. Or a smaller daily task, you can’t move onto the next one until you’ve completed that goal.
If you truly want your business to be profitable and successful, you’re going to have to give up your attachments to fear, comfort and “everything you think you know”.
Focusing on 1 goal is far more important than starting 5.
The values you have for your personal life, will dictate how fast you’ll be successful
This is where things start to get personal and uncomfortable. Your personal values will determine where your business goes and how quickly it will reach its goals. The problem is that we often believe we have values which are healthy or constructive, when in actual fact they are unproductive.
In order to get to $1 million revenue level, you have to make money a top priority. Understanding money, managing money, controlling your own money, they all need to be a top priority. While many people state that money might be a top priority for them when running a business, there are often other values which overtake them.
Absolutely values like family, health and appreciating what you’ve got will often out perform the value of money. But don’t kid yourself too much.
Many people desire instant gratification in the way of food, travel, cars, credit cards, Steam games on sale (Mike) and other values which we would rather have before we value money.
It might be that money doesn’t need to be your top priority, but you do need to examine your list of values. Whatever you value the most, you will get more of. Look around you and see what you’ve got a lot of right now, even if they are things you don’t want. Because they are probably things that you value. People value comfort over everything else. Which is why they never break past their initial barriers of fear.
Another paradox, while business is not personal, it is the most personal thing you’ll set up
While we are trying to make a business that is efficient, effective and productive. We are also imbuing it with some of our own most personal aspects. I often hear people refer to their business as “their baby”, and the right to do so. It’s an extremely personal journey to set up a business and give value to a market in exchange for income.
The only problem is that people don’t put part of their personality in, which could help their business. And they get attached to the wrong parts of their personality within the business.
You’re setting up a business to give yourself time and money back. I’ve already told you that this blog post will help you generate more time and money for yourself and for your business. But if you don’t set up your business properly with the right parts of your personality, it won’t give anything back to you.
“What you appreciate, appreciates”
If you’re realistic with how much money you want to make and how much time you have, you will be happier, more profitable and more successful
The crazy thing about running a successful profitable business, is that it’s entirely up to you what that means. Unless you know how much you need to make per month and per year, you’ll never reach it. And our personal income levels are more achievable than we might realise.
If I could guarantee that your business was a $100,000 a year business, and 50% would be paid to you personally, would $50,000 per year sustain you?
Most people would be very happy with a six-figure business. If you’ve got higher aspirations such as a multiple six-figure business or even a 7 or 8 figure business, that’s outstanding.
My point is that when we examine our own personal desires and requirements, they’re often lower than we might realise. This is a good thing, because it takes the pressure off having to create a huge multinational corporation. With just 4 $25,000 projects per year, that’s only one per quarter, you could give yourself a $50,000 a year salary.
If we are extremely clear on the level of income that we want to attract, the types of customers we want to attract and the number of projects we want to work on, will often reach them faster than we might have realised.
Providing we are willing to overcome our initial fears and objections.
Only you can define what profitable and successful is
You are the single most important person within your own business and indeed your own life. You determine what is successful and you determine what is profitable. For many funnel builders, they’ll need to have a $200,000 a year income themselves. The funny thing is whenever a funnel builder talks to me about their income desire levels, they’re worried to tell me what they need to make because I might tell them it’s unrealistic.
I don’t think that any number is unrealistic, I simply believe that if you need to make $250,000 per year, for yourself personally, then you need to do the work of $250,000. You have to put in $250,000 worth of value into the marketplace.
This sometimes means getting uncomfortable, working past our fears and trying some new ideas and techniques. It sometimes means ignoring all of the voices in our head and indeed some external voices, to build that business. Wishing for a $250,000 a year income won’t get you there. Working every day towards a $250,000 a year income will get you there eventually.
And remember, your values determine how quickly you’ll get there.
You get to decide what you deliver to your customers
The final part of this puzzle is knowing what you’re going to give to your customers. If the market is screaming out for Facebook messenger bots and automated chat bots, and you have absolutely no desire to deliver those to your customers. Then you are under absolutely no obligation to deliver those things. The goal is to work out what you want to deliver on something the market wants to receive.
It’s also not always a process or tactic that customers want to receive. Most of them simply want more income, less time at the office and clarity. Those 3 core areas could be delivered with any kind of funnel process.
In the same way that most people who join a gym either want to become fitter, lose weight or increase muscle mass. There’s multiple ways to deliver those results.
If your passion lies in creating great looking squeeze pages and opt in forms on blog posts, then you can deliver that. Providing you can articulate an offer to the market which demonstrates a result that they want.
No one wants to buy opt in forms, but they do want to buy email leads. There are multiple ways to deliver email leads and new prospects and subscribers, you get to decide how you’re going to do that.
Your market and niche
Let’s get this right off the bat, there is no such thing as a magic profitable niche. I’ve talked about this already, there is no group of people out there who are sitting around with wads of cash in their pocket, waiting to buy from you. A niche is something that you create and your business becomes. It’s a problem you solve or a result that you generate, for a market or group of people that no one else wants to serve.
Your biggest problem isn’t identifying a niche or even going after niche, it’s committing to a niche past your initial levels of fear.
Your subconscious fear controls which niche you go after
How often have you listened to a lizard or crocodile for advice on running your business? And yet you probably listen to your lizard brain or crocodile brain every single day. It’s the most powerful and primitive part of our entire subconscious, and more people listen to that part of their brain than anything else.
Perhaps rightly so, it is designed to keep us safe and conserve energy. However your fear with choosing a niche is not whether it will or won’t be successful, it’s your hesitation to commit to that niche.
The reason you are hesitating to commit to a niche, is your fear. Fear of missing out on other markets. Fear that the market is too small. Fear of failure. Fear that you don’t have anything to add to that market.
It’s all based around your body’s million year old instincts to preserve itself and to preserve energy. You have to look past that and ignore absolutely everything your evolution is telling you. If you choose a niche, define it and truly commit to it, you will be successful.
You can only ever sell something people are hungry for
If you are starting a hot-dog stand, and I was paying for you to start a hot-dog stand along with everyone else reading this blog post, what would you do to sell more hot dogs?
Some people say that they would choose really high quality ingredients, high-quality breads and make sure that the price was higher and build a reputation for great tasting hot dogs.
Other people say that they would have really cheap ingredients to increase their margins and just get hot-dogs sold as quickly as possible.
More toppings, more sides, choice of sausages, more drinks, chips and other up cells. Absolutely none of these make any difference unless your audience is hungry.
You can’t sell the world’s best hot-dogs to a group of people that aren’t hungry.
One of the biggest paradoxes of running a business, is our belief that we are both the best and the worst at the same time. It’s called the freelancers paradox and it goes like this.
The reason we don’t hire people is because we believe that they won’t do a very good job. We worry that they won’t do as good a job as us and we have a way of doing it “just so”. We hate the idea of charging the customer money only for someone else to deliver sub-par results, that they’ll hate and then blame us for.
However in the same breath we are unwilling to commit to a niche or market because we feel that we haven’t got anything to add. We’ll look around at other people creating great products and services, and say to ourselves “we’ll never be as good as that”. Both of these are responses to fear. They are both fear-based mindsets.
Interestingly, even though you might have the world’s best product, or hot-dog, no one will buy it unless your audience is hungry. One of the biggest mistakes that funnel businesses make is trying to create the best looking pages, the fastest loading website or the cleanest code. None of that matters unless your audience is hungry for it. The only people I’ve ever heard complaining about page loading speed, is people whose job it is is to optimise page loading speed.
With our customers they are hungry for freedom, customers, sales and time. Our job is to deliver one or all of these 4 aspects.
Your customers are not hungry for new landing pages, responsive squeeze pages, remarketing campaigns etc. Your customers are hungry for new opportunities, conversations with customers and spending less time at the office.
Every customer avatar you’ve written is wrong
So if we look at what people are hungry for, and what the market wants to buy, you might then create a custom avatar. The problem is that every single custom avatar you’ve ever created, is wrong.
Listen to yourself the next time you create a custom avatar or do a custom avatar exercise. Your internal voice will be screaming fear-based responses to you.
“What if our customers don’t match this avatar?”
“Am I missing out on customers if I just focus on this one avatar?”
“I don’t know enough about this market to write up an avatar”
The reason we have these fear-based responses is partly because we are taught the wrong thing by advertisers, and also because you’re worried you’re going to miss out on other opportunities.
So the mistake that people make when creating a custom avatar, is they make it too broad. Rather than saying something specific and talking about specific problems that they can address, then broaden it in an attempt to try and satisfy everyone.
Which one of these 2 sounds like a well-written custom avatar?
1. Jenny is the CMO of a mid-level paper supply company in the United States. Her biggest concerns are attracting a growing audience in a market which is extremely commoditised. Her job is to create a brand around her commoditised product and reduce customer acquisition costs. Marketing budgets are getting slashed repeatedly and yet she is always expected to do more with less.
2. Jenny is the owner and founder of a small business. She wants to increase the number of customers that buy from her and reduce the time it takes to convert prospects into leads. She has a website already but it doesn’t really do much for her and she has 8 employees. She feels she needs to get on board the Facebook advertising and remarketing train, while also continuing to expand her product line into new markets.
I see custom avatar number 2 written so many times is not even funny. So many businesses in the funnel space are determined to become players in their niche and increase their revenue. But they refused to commit to a well-defined customer avatar. Even number 1, while well-defined, is still not a great customer avatar. Because it doesn’t talk about the journey that Jenny needs to become a part of.
Jenny is the CMO of a mid-level paper supply company based in the United States. They have 7 branches along the east coast and she feels extremely frustrated that her marketing budget gets cut but she is expected to generate more results. Jenny wants a repeatable process that allows her to grow a brand and move away from her business being seen as a commodity.
She was only hired 18 months ago, but wants to position herself as her company’s most valuable employee and asset. Jenny wants to become a paper brand hero, rather than just another mid-level CMO. She is having to spend more time away from her 2 small children and husband, because she needs to constantly fight fires around the office.
If she had a solid marketing plan that allowed her branches to become paper rock stars in their respective territories, she could focus on bigger picture marketing and driving efficiencies.
The 2nd avatar is longer, more in-depth and talks about Jenny’s life and emotions. Customer avatars should be a journey from what they’re feeling now to what they want to feel. Or, what they’re struggling with in their personal life and what we could do to make it better.
In our new course on Building a Profitable, Successful Funnel Business, our videos and modules on creating a customer niche and writing a perfect avatar are the most re-watched and downloaded.
A niche is not an industry or market
One of the toughest mindsets to get out of, is thinking that a niche is either an industry or market.
The definition of a niche to me, is a problem that you solve or a result that you achieve for a group of people that no one else wants to serve.
An industry or market could be a part of that, or you could use characteristics of a business that multiple industry share.
For example, let’s say that you help businesses with remote teams organise their lead prospecting in a more efficient way. There are multiple types of markets and industries with remote teams. It’s the characteristic that they have remote teams which ties them together. You could of course also have something inside an industry and solve a specific problem with that industry.
For example you could help coffee shops increase their loyalty card membership signups.
Where I find people becoming confused or frustrated, is because they are trying to find an industry that no one else is serving. If you were to say that you are just going after lighting companies for example, is that photography lighting, studio lighting?
Are you looking at one person lighting operations or multinational corporations. There aren’t enough characteristics that tie together all the lighting companies in the world.
If instead you said that you help lighting companies launch new eco-friendly light-bulbs to their market and increase revenue from that launch, that’s a well-defined niche.
A niche is not something that you go after, a niche is something that someone recognises about themselves. We are all a part of infinite niches. Your customers will be a part of multiple niches.
The fastest way to become #1 in a niche is to create it
The reason that the niche is so powerful is because once you’ve defined it and you start creating content around and helping people within that niche, no one else will want to go after it. It’s as if once you’ve defined it, you are already the number 1 player in the market.
There is no such thing as a profitable niche
I’ve mentioned this before but it’s worth repeating, there is no such thing as a profitable niche. What I mean by this is don’t believe the experts and gurus that tell you to go after “this particular market”. A niche is only profitable when you commit to it and decide to serve that audience better than anybody else.
If you’ve created a niche by focusing on a problem you can solve, or a result that you can attract for a group of people that no one else wants to serve, your job is to create as much content and value for that market as possible.
It won’t be quick, it won’t be explosive, but if you commit to it it will scale and become profitable.
There are 5 market types, that you can both deliver to or become
You don’t go after a niche, you define and then become a niche. The 5 easiest areas to go over, according to Stuart Walker’s niche hackers guide, are health, wealth, relationships, status and hobbies.
All products on the market serve 1 of these 5 market areas. Your job is to define a niche that falls into 1 of these categories. Do you help people in the health sector, wealth generation sector, relationship sector, status sector or hobbies sector?
Think about the results that your potential customers get for their customers. Again, we are often blind to who our customers are, because we’re too busy thinking about who we are. If you help businesses that help their customers lose weight, you are working in the health sector. If you help coffee shops sell reusable branded coffee mugs, then you’re in the hobby or status sector.
Have a real think about the type of results you want your customers to help their customers get. Once you begin to define what kind of results they help their customers get, you’ll be closer to a niche.
For example “we help businesses that secure their customers IT infrastructure attract new qualified leads and convert them within 30 days”. Or, “we attract new leads and convert them within 30 days for businesses that secure their customers IT infrastructure”.
Both of these nations focus on the problem or result that you can get and the problem will result that the business fixes.
The 7 niche types
I’ve got a blog post here that talks about how to find the right niche for your business.
Ultimately there are 7 parts of the overall process that businesses go on, from attracting leads to selling products, that you could add value to. There’s no way that you can add value to the entire supply chain of the business. Logistics companies focus on delivering products to customers or warehouses. Security focuses between the customer and the supplier. Packaging companies ensure that products are safely transported, stored and labelled.
This is one of my biggest hangups when people choose an industry as their niche. You can’t serve the entire supply chain for that entire industry. You have to pick a specific part of the process, in order to help the customer the most.
I don’t doubt that given infinite budget and infinite time, you could add massive value to the entire supply chain. You’re not going to add value to your customers when you focus on too many areas. Remember, you don’t win 1 marathon by starting 10.
You can also look at the types of products that you want to help customers sell. For example I am really good at selling splinter products, low cost, low barrier to entry products that are the initial offer to a new subscriber or lead. Some people are really good at selling high ticket items, memberships, subscriptions, up-sells, cross sells etc.
Or you could help with a particular part of the customer journey. Are you particularly good at attracting traffic to a blog, or is that where you want to focus? Or are you really good at nurturing email addresses. If you choose a part of the process that is either broken, or you could make better, then your customers will want to work with you. For example, “we help outdoor pursuit luggage companies increase their email marketing open rates and click rates”.
There are types of customers that you could help, from repeat customers to customers that want a refund. Or who are in a certain position in the marketplace. For example 1 of our colleagues only works with businesses that have been established over 25 years and haven’t yet automated their sales and marketing process.
Make sure to read the blog post here that talks about finding the right niche for your marketing funnel business.
Planning your funnel business
One of the most neglected part of running a business, despite people claiming to have a business plan or an idea of what they want to do, is planning the business to work around their life. Your business is your creation. It doesn’t have to adhere to any of the boundaries or norms set by other people. If everyone set up businesses that the previous generation would recognise, we would all own coal factories.
Your funnel business must work for you
It’s absolutely imperative that your marketing funnel business works for you. If you want to work from home, 3 days a week and spend the rest of your time looking after your family, that’s absolutely fine.
Don’t listen to everyone else that tells you you should be working 7 days a week on your business. You should be working in a business that works for you. The very concept of working from 9 AM to 5 PM is a hangover from the industrial revolution. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that working 5 days a week is the most optimum or effective working method. I know businesses that work one day on one day off in perpetuity.
I know some businesses that work 6 AM to 11 AM 7 days a week. I know businesses that work four-day weeks and have 3 day weekends. I know businesses that have ten-day weeks and then 4 days off. I know businesses that work 2 or 3 months in a row, and then will take 2 months off.
These aren’t new millennial start-ups by the way. The oil industry, the military, law firms, tech companies, bio medical companies, pharmaceutical businesses, IT security businesses, data protection businesses and many more legacy style businesses have used models like these for decades. 9 to 5 is convenient because it’s not very creative and lazy managers can use it as a work schedule.
Your business should be designed to work around your life, otherwise what are you setting up for? Wouldn’t you rather just have a job if you’re happy having someone else dictate when you can and can’t work?
The difficult part is getting over guilt. But guilt only comes when you’re not getting what you feel you could be getting.
Let’s say you know you need to earn $100,000 per year in order to keep your family safe and financially comfortable. If you were able to earn that working just 2 days a week, would you feel guilty about not working any further?
You have to know what drives you, in order to know what will drive the business. This is why it was so important to understand your own goals and your own vision for the future.
You don’t work in a funnel business, you run a funnel business
One of the biggest shifts in paradigms for me was understanding the difference between working in a business and working on a business, or running a business. When you run a business, other people deliver the results to the customer. Jeff Bezos doesn’t deliver packages. Walt Disney doesn’t deliver cartoons. Running a business means separating yourself from the delivery and focusing on making the most efficient and effective business you can.
We need to plan a business that allows you the time to do high-level creative strategy, continue educating yourself and attracting customers. Having someone else do the work and deliver the results is the path to a scalable, profitable and successful business.
The system is the product
The system that you use to deliver results to your niche is the product. It must be a repeatable, scalable process, like we talked about previously. It must be a process that you won’t deviate from. The more standardised the process, the more profitable your businesses, and the easier it is for you to hire staff and get other people to deliver the results.
This is where I want you to start thinking differently. Let’s say that you are a funnel builder that helps second time authors launch their book to over 1000 customers. You can deliver this in a multitude of ways. There could be blog content, YouTube content and podcasts designed to introduce your process to people.
Then you could have the e-book or printed book that takes people through that process. You could have courses, audio programs, coaching programs and premium done for you services. Having a range of products with a range of price points, positions you as an expert.
Your premium done for you consultation services, with marketing funnel building absolutely follows a process, and it’s the same process you outlined in your other content. But people will want you to do it for them, because this gets them results the results faster and easier.
The process you used to actually physically implement funnel building techniques such as building opt in forms, writing copy and installing analytics can absolutely be done by other people, if you have a written process. Even a simple documentation with bullet points and screenshots written in a word document, will massively increase both efficiency and profitability. It also reduce the number of errors that your hires and staff will encounter.
This is also the linchpin of a successful business model. All too often we are hesitant to document our processes, because it’s faster for us to do that. Because the task we’re doing is unlikely to be repeated, it does make sense for us to do the project rather than outsource or document it. When you start delivering the same task over and over to dozens of customers, there is absolutely a need for you to document the process and get someone else to do it. Which in turn brings us back to standardising your product and focusing on delivering one thing at a time.
When you hire staff, if it goes wrong it’s your fault
They say that there are no bad hires only bad managers. If you hire someone to do a job and they don’t live up to your expectations whose fault is that? The answer is you. You are entirely responsible for the outcomes that your staff or hires get, and your expectations therein.
If you can get your hires to do 80% of the quality of your work, you are knocking out the park. The truth is that most staff are willing to do extremely high-quality work, if they are a) given a written document a process and b) you give them clear guidelines on expected results. Most people skip on the process documentation and a decent brief and are disappointed when they get results. It’s entirely your fault how far wrong your hires and outsourcing goes.
List out all the jobs that someone else can deliver
I want to try an exercise and ask you to list out every single job that someone else can deliver within your business. We’re not writing anything concrete, this is not set in stone. I just want you to think about all of the parts of the process that someone else could do, within your business.
These could be internal admin tasks such as bookkeeping and blog post uploads. You could also look at content creation, optimisation and lead generation. But also think about your customers projects as well. WordPress website set up, hosting solutions, theme and plug-in installation and setup. There’s an enormous part of the process that other people are not only willing to do, but can do a good job.
Think about the work that you’re hired to do. Do you ever want to do a bad job? Of course not. You want to do the best possible job you can, for your customers. Therefore if you are to hire someone and you have a conversation with them about what you expect from them, the process they’re going to undergo, and the results you expect, don’t you think that they’ll want to do a good job as well?
You’d be surprised at how far people are willing to work when you give them trust and autonomy.
An overview of our funnel process
To wrap up this section I wanted to give an overview of our funnel process. One of our most popular and standardised products that we deliver to many businesses, is helping online course and coaching businesses generate more first time customers from their email list.
Our process looks like the below.
- migrate subscriber and user data over to ActiveCampaign if they’re not already on ActiveCampaign
- audit CRM data by customer type, customer value, subscribers and most recent interaction.
- determine the most profitable and successful product to sell to email list
- create email sales campaign for non-customers of the product
- install and run an email hygiene automation (to remove dead and inactive email addresses)
- create a 3 part website sales platform
- long form sales letter
- product sales page
- video sales page
- send and schedule sales campaigns to all 3 website sales platforms
- migrate sales campaigns over to sales automation process
- automatically schedule sales campaign to new subscribers after nurture series
- write and automate new subscriber nurture series
This is one of our funnel products and as you can see there is absolutely nothing inside this process that only one person could or should deliver. Even on a basic level, the majority of this work can be delivered by a virtual assistant with a well written document a process written up in quip.
You can also see how this process is repeatable and scalable. The result is that course creators and coaches can start selling their products on automation, and launch it to their list.
But what if your customer doesn’t have an email list? Well then I can’t help them. This is the fundamental roadblock that almost all funnel businesses encounter. Your process is only suitable to 10% of your market. Your job is to find that 10% of the market. Some businesses will be unwilling to migrate over to ActiveCampaign (our CRM of choice of course, you could use whatever).
Some businesses will have absolutely 0 subscribers and even 0 products. I can’t help them. Unless they’re willing to spend 10 times the amount to initially create a subscriber list, I can’t create thousands of dollars from nothing. If businesses want to work with me, and they don’t have any of the required pieces, they have to pay a premium.
But for some reason we treat businesses that don’t have the initial components as people who should pay less. It doesn’t make any sense.
Think about your process and write it out. Take people on a journey and a process that you could deliver to them, and then see just how easy it would be to create content, position yourself as an expert and deliver this is a multitude of different products.
Money management and pricing
We are happy to admit we have a business plan, I’m staggered at how many businesses don’t have a financial plan. Your business will only grow through one metric. Money. Income, revenue, profit are all vital aspects to a business.
And yet, funnel businesses are unwilling to address this and even embarrassed to talk about it, because they’re worried about what someone else might think. Or they just don’t know what to do with it.
You are morally obliged to be profitable
The single most important thing for you to realise with your pricing and money management, is that you are morally obliged to be profitable. That’s right. You are actually a more moral person, when you understand you have to run a profitable business, and you do everything you can to run a profitable business.
You price effectively with a high enough margin to be able to serve your customers and keep your business going. You do everything you can to attract sales and convert customers. And this makes you a more moral person.
Let me explain why.
Your business is set up to help people. It is set up to get a result for other businesses and help make their life easier. By helping your customers you are helping them help more people. If you decide that you’re going to go after the online video content creator market, and help them convert YouTube subscribers into paying customers, you’re not only helping that YouTube creator, you’re helping all of their customers.
When you are profitable you can hire more people, share the wealth with them and pay more tax, contributing more to society.
If you increase the revenue and results for another business, you’re also helping them hire more people and help more customers.
Like most grown men, I derive the majority of my moral standpoints from either comic books or cereal boxes. Spider-Man’s uncle, uncle Ben (who doesn’t make it by the way) said “with great power comes great responsibility”.
What he means by this is that if you have the power and the ability to do good and to help someone, then you had a moral obligation to help people and do good. If you’re not making money, and your business doesn’t make money, you can’t do good. Therefore it is not a question of profitability, but a question of morality. I want you to remember this throughout the entire pricing section of this blog post and my course.
Most people decide what they want to deliver first and then think of a price
Where most people go wrong is they start at the wrong end of the pricing model. They’ll think about the process that they want to deliver, similar to the bullet points outlined above, and then think about what they should charge for that process.
I’ll admit that I’m already contradicting myself, because of course I’ve shared with you my process and encouraged you to think about your own process. But where funnel businesses fall down, is thinking about the process and product first, and then questioning what customers will be willing to pay for that service.
Instead we going to flip that on its head.
Think of the price first and what you need to make
I want you to think about how much you need to make per year, or per project. Remember we talked earlier about understanding what our goals are, and what our desires are for our life and business. This is why it’s so important. Because our entire pricing model comes, from understanding our own desires and goals.
Think about how much you need to make and then think about how much you want to charge per project. This sounds completely counter intuitive and is the exact opposite of everything you’ve ever been taught in a business setting.
Decide what you want to make per project, and then think about what you would deliver for that price. This is where understanding the process becomes so critical.
Let’s say that you want to make $25,000 per project, and you have a goal of finding 8 projects a year, yielding you $200 000 per year in revenue.
For that $25,000, what can customers expect from you, when they pay that amount?
Then determine what you will deliver for that price
If I deposited $25,000 into your account tomorrow, what would I get in return? Thinking in terms of what you’ve been given to work with, it’s easier to plan out profit margins, pricing, expenses and overheads.
We know that we want other people to try and deliver the work for us so with that $25,000, what could you get someone else to do for roughly 1/3 of the price.
Assuming we use a costs X3 pricing ratio what would it cost you to deliver those same results to the customer? From that $25,000 would you be able to spend 8000 and have someone else deliver?
For $25,000 would they get personal coaching throughout the process? Maybe all of their email marketing and copy written? Would that include an entire marketing automation website and CRM system? Probably not. When we look at what $25,000 will buy us, it’s not as much as we might think.
This is why this exercise is so powerful, because it shows you how far (or not) your dollars go.
For example your $25,000 could look like the below.
- 6 week coaching programme
- One coaching goal per month per year
- 3 email campaigns written and uploaded
- site tracking and tagging added to the website
- one sales letter written
- one sales page design
I have to think “would I be able to pay someone 1/3 of the customer’s total budget, to deliver the above?”
It’s very tempting at this point to do it yourself, for a higher paycheck, but then you are removing any ability to scale your time. We’ve already talked about how doing custom work removes you from the ability to grow your business.
10% of scalable income is more profitable than 100% of earned income
If you just earned $2500 from that $25,000, but didn’t have to do any work. That is infinitely more profitable than exchanging your time for money because it simply becomes a case of increasing your margins, getting better at selling the $25,000 product and finding more $25,000 customers.
How many customers do you want to work with?
Which leads us on to our next question, happy customers do want to work with
I was at a small business networking event a few months back and I asked the question “how many customers to do you want to work with?”
The question is designed to open up the idea that it is perhaps better to work with fewer high quality customers rather than try and work with 100 customers. But for some businesses it will be a case of working with 100 high quality customers rather than 1000. I put a few ideas on the projector screen, showing that 10 customers at $1000 is easier than 100 customers at $100.
The most common response I was given was that beggars can’t be choosers. And that any business that purposefully builds in a low number of customers to work with, will never be profitable.
What was interesting is that every single person in the audience had paid to see me speak, whereas I was being paid to be there. All of the advice that was given to me from the members of the audience, was about how I should be looking for as many customers as possible. And if they just tried to work with 4 customers, their business wouldn’t go anywhere.
However that was the vocal minority. The majority were apathetic. But a small proportion really understood that they could be in charge of the number and quality of their customers.
It’s not a case of putting all your eggs into one basket. It’s a case of understanding the approach to trying and attract one $25,000 customer rather than as many customers at any price.
Surely no one can deny that trying to find one $25,000 customer every 3 months, is significantly easier than finding a random number of customers at a random number of price points.
You are absolutely in charge of how many customers you work with and what price they have to pay. At the moment when you’re starting out it might be that you can only handle for customers per year. But when you take on some staff and have a standardised process, you might be able to expand that to 10 clients per year.
The important part isn’t the number of clients, it’s your certainty on how many clients you want to go after.
Pay your profit and yourself first
When any income is attracted to your business, the most tempting thing to do is buy yourself a new toy or gadget that you’ve been promising yourself and/or pay your bills.
You’re tired of getting reminders through and 2nd and 3rd invoices. So you just want to clear a few debts.
Instead, following the advice of almost every financial book on the planet including Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Profit First, The Richest Man in Babylon, How to Own the World and many others. We are going to pay our business profit first and then ourselves.
“10% of all I earn shall be mine to keep.”
This is another part of your pricing strategy. It’s understanding that a certain percentage all income is going to be kept as profit within the business. And a certain percentage is going to be kept for yourself.
Up to $250,000 per year in business revenue, I like to give 50% to my personal account.
Each split of 50%, totalling a possible maximum $125,000, 10% gets put aside for my personal account. I like to put 10% aside and invest it stocks and shares. For the business, 10% is kept in a separate account and invested at a later date. The point is that I build these pricing margins into my total prices. I also know exactly how much of project be deposited into my personal and proper accounts.
After that I take care of my expenses and tax. If you want to learn more about this pricing model I highly recommend Profit First by Mike Michalowicz.
Sharks, bunnies, birds and bugs
Money is like blood to sharks. There are money sharks everywhere who will do all they can to greedily take as much as they can from you. If you ignore the money sharks or even worse, encourage them, you’ll find you never have enough money to pay for things that really matter.
As a business owner your job is to protect your money from the money sharks for as long as possible.
The government, employees, tax, suppliers, new opportunities, long lost family members, friends, personal vices. There are thousands of money sharks out there waiting to take from you. The hardest part is that all of them will tell you it’s worth it. Every single money shark has got very good at getting other people to hand over their money.
They prey on greed, ignorance and sometimes pure lies to take as much money from other people as they can waste it.
I’m absolutely not saying that you shouldn’t share wealth, enjoy and spend on other suppliers.
There is a massive difference between investing your money wisely and giving away to any money shark who can sniff out a drop of blood in the water.
When farmers plant crops, there are literally millions of animals that want to
Think about planting crops as a farmer. You know that plant 10,000 seeds only 10% to 20% of those seeds will take root. Putting aside the hard work it takes just to get the plants to take root. You have to nurture them until they grow into seedlings, all the way through to a full crop. You can’t sell crop unless it grows to fruition.
The problem is that there are bugs birds and bunnies, who want to eat the crops before you’re ready to use them. Similar to our sharks, at different stages of your crops growth, different animals are going to try and take a greedy bite of what you are working so hard to own.
Robert Kirosaki calls them the birds bugs and bunnies, because they all start with B. Bankers, brothers-in-law, big business, bureaucrats and bonuses. Everyone’s got an idea to eat your crops without growing any of their own. You have to be extremely wary of who is out there, taking your crops from you.
The way we do this is with a financial plan. I know that 20% of everything I own is going to go towards the government. I think that’s a perfectly fair amount to give up for taxes. I don’t mind paying taxes for necessary services and helping those that need support.
But if I don’t pay attention I will pay more than 20% in tax. I would pay tax on my own personal income, I pay tax on my business income, and any profit I make. I want to do everything I can to protect my crops from the bureaucratic bugs that eat away at my businesses growth.
Big business eats into my growth through taking market share, brothers-in-law have a habit of turning up and claiming they are your long lost sibling and needing money. Banks do a fantastic job of taking money from you after they refuse you loans and bonuses have a funny way of being positioned to you after you’ve made a decent income. Doesn’t that new car look far more appealing and reasonable, after you got a bit of money in the bank?
Having a financial plan helps you protect your crops from the birds bugs and bunnies. It helps keeping money sharks out of the water.
$25,000 isn’t always profitable
One of the biggest misconceptions is that a $25,000 project is inherently profitable. For many funnel builders, a 5 figure project would be life changing.
However, I have repeatedly seen 5 and 6-figure projects become incredibly unprofitable due to bad money management, pricing strategies and project management.
Using my pricing strategy, I know that with $25000, I have roughly $8500 dollars to spend on external help, or outsourcing and staff for the project. I know that a certain percentage will come to me as a business owner, a certain percent will be put aside for profit and future investing, and a certain percentage will be put aside for tax.
Without looking at my pricing strategy it would be easy for me to fritter away a $25,000 project income, and be left with nothing to show for it at the end of it. Remember “10% of all I earn shall be mine to keep”.
Don’t inherently assume that a large cash injection via a project will immediately solve your problems. Usually, unless you have a solid money management system to make $19 profitable, you won’t have a hope in hell of making $19,000 profitable.
Profit comes from standardisation
Finally, it’s important to understand that profit comes from standardisation.
Every single time you deliver a project, and you add a slight change or deviation from the process, you are making a project unprofitable.
It’s extremely tempting to offer customers bespoke and tailored solutions for all of their requirements. But a standardised process is what will create profitability within your business.
There is still plenty of room for creativity, experimentation and optimisation. The customer’s business by itself will have custom branding, a different language and a different approach. But the more you can standardise your process, the more firm your profitability margin will be.
All too often we find that people are charging $3000 for a $25,000 project. It’s got nothing to do with the project or your capability. It’s entirely to do with the customers that you have found.
If customers have only got a budget of $3000, they should be buying something that is so standardised that you don’t have to deliver it.
Stick to your guns and make sure that customers understand the price is the price. You’re happy to negotiate terms, but without a massive increase in investment, you can’t customise every single project per customer.
Creating a product offer
After we’ve created a product and we have a standardised process that we think we are going to deliver. We need to create a product offer. The process is what you and your team will go through to achieve results. The offer is what your customers understand the results to be.
For example, customers want to increase leads, increase sales and less time spent at the office. They’re not looking for the process that you’ve outlined, they’re looking for an offer which promises them that the future of more leads and more sales.
Our job is to create an offer that is compelling to a market and convinces them to buy something.
It’s easier to sell something if you have a moral obligation to help that market
Earlier when we talked about having a moral obligation to help our market, this is the easiest way of creating a product offer.
Even if you are loathe to sell, if you genuinely believe you’re selling something helpful and useful to your marketplace, you are going to find it easier to sell.
Think about what we know to be “true” about health, fitness, finances, travel and any other market. Think about your favourite TV show or movie, when someone tells you that they’ve never seen it.
If you have a genuine moral connection to why it’s good and why someone should do it, you focus instinctively on the benefits, results and the story.
When you talk to people about why they joined a gym, they will always talk about the benefits to their health, the better future they have compared to their previous life and usually the community. They often wrap it up in a story talking about who they were and what their status was, before telling you how they feel now and how other people feel see them.
Your product needs to have exactly the same story and hook when going to the market. And again, you’ll find it’s not that difficult when you have a genuine moral connection to what you’re doing.
Think about the benefits and the future that working with you brings a customer. How do they feel when they wake up, how do they feel when they open their email inbox?
How do they look to their competitors, their customers, their staff, their family and their friends?
Do not trick yourself into thinking that the fastest page loading times, the best plugins, “best in class, software platforms” or any of that shit matters. The only thing that matters to your customer is their life in the future.
You should be describing a future where they are more free, have more money, they’re more attractive to the opposite sex, their friends are envious of them and they’re able to lead a happier healthier life. The moral connection you have to your products and services will help you compel the most compelling pitch possible.
Who you help matters more than what you do
The single biggest mistake I see marketing funnel agencies repeat, is telling their customers and the marketplace what they do.
We help small businesses reach more customers and create innovative and creative branding campaigns.
We use best in class software to provide leading edge customer journey experiences.
We hire the world’s greatest designers to create a personal and unique online experience for your business.
I see these statements time and time again. I know why people create them, it’s because we’ve been taught that we should have a mission statement. Or in some cases people genuinely consider this their USP.
The problem is that each one of these statements is both recognisable and mind-numbingly bland. The reason they are recognisable is because every creative/digital marketing company on the planet has used something like this at one point or another.
It’s okay, put your hand up if your current mission statement on your website look something like the above.
The problem is that mission statements like this don’t mean anything. Businesses are often afraid to create a true USP (which stands for unique selling proposition), But there is absolutely nothing unique about any of those statements.
And when we attend networking events, speaking engagements or we are just meeting people. We have a tendency to talk around what it is that we do.
Who you help is a hundred times more important than what you do.
We help head phone manufacturers secure licensing deals to 10X their distribution
We help seafood restaurants increase the number of cookbooks they sell to their customers.
We work with funnel builders to help them attract more clients and sell funnels.
The funny thing about saying who you work with, is that it will immediately exclude people. Good!
Your mission statement should be so clear and specific and dare I say-unique, that your competition wouldn’t want to say the same thing.
“If your competition wouldn’t want to say the opposite, your mission statement isn’t unique.”
The problem with many mission statements, about a product or a business, is that they try to appeal to everyone. And in doing so, they appeal to no one.
If your competition wouldn’t say the opposite of what you’re saying in your mission statement, it’s not unique and it’s not really a mission statement.
This is again where it comes back to your moral input, your vision for the future and the values that you hold.
If you honestly believe the most important thing that accounting companies can do is double their revenue per customer, then that’s what your mission statement should be. Yes, authors and manufacturers won’t necessarily want to work with you. But accountants that want to increase their revenue per customer, absolute you will do.
Also, it a 100x easier to make a recommendation based on who you help. If you’re too broad and bland about what you do, you won’t generate any referrals. As soon as someone understands who helps accountants, funnel builders, restaurants and any other “who”, you’re more likely to have your details passed on.
Your customers will only ever buy what they want not what they need
When crafting your statement and pitch, again this is for both your business and your product, we have to sell what people want.
Everyone wants a sixpack, but no one wants the gym.
The future that we sell is what they want. It’s what the customer desires to have, feel, see, experience, own and become in the future.
No one desires eating less chocolate and waking up at 6:30 AM for a run. But they do desire to lose weight, get in shape and have their friends comment on their figure.
Again if we tie it back further to your morality clause, its even easier to create a desire that you feel is morally the right thing to do.
I genuinely believe that if funnel builders can attract more customers and make more sales, the world is a better place. I’ll happily argue the morals and ethics of sales, generating money, marketing and capitalism all day. It doesn’t even matter whether I’m right or wrong.
I know for a fact (from my YouTube comments, emails and instant messenger), that many people feel I am a disgusting capitalist sociopath.
But the point is that because I feel a moral obligation to help people make more sales, I’m more likely to describe the future that is beneficial to mankind. If I can describe a future that is beneficial to one person and a thousand people, I’m more likely to make sales.
Look at any successful product and you will see that all they are doing is selling a slightly better future. Yes, some people will disagree whether that future is really better or not.
Let’s take Coca-Cola for example. They do a fantastic job of selling a happy, fun filled life full of smiles and great tasting beverages. But many people see the future of Coca-Cola as diabetes, Indian villages without water and government level corruption.
It’s irrelevant which side of the argument you’re on, but you have to be on at least one side.
People are more likely to buy when you have a clear mission statement
Your mission statement shouldn’t just be about your company, you should be about every single product that you sell. When your mission statement is clear, people are more likely to buy from you. If they understand what their future is, and how it can benefit their life, from reading your mission statement-they are more likely to buy.
You have to believe customers want your product
You can’t create a product offer unless you genuinely believe your customers will want to buy it. And this is where most funnel builders get caught out.
So many funnel builders and marketing agencies believe the way to convince their customers to buy, is by focusing on new trends, new technology and features. When really, most of those things are bought to impress other funnel builders.
Your customers will not want to buy a product any more just because you’ve changed the tools that you use to build their funnel.
What customers want, is a better life. It’s incredibly simple. You already know the type of life for your customers want. We can all have a pretty good guess at the future that our customers and audience desire.
You now have to create a product which that market wants. Don’t try and create a product or service which you feel other funnel builders would want. It’s incredibly tempting, but keep bringing it back to being able to finish the sentence “in the future my customers can…”
If you can finish that sentence, you will write benefits. If we can target a particular niche in market with those benefits, we have a compelling mission statement for both a product and company.
Your products are the vehicles you use to achieve your mission statement. Therefore there should be no difference between your products mission statement and your company’s mission statement. Your company’s mission statement is how you serve the market. And, your products are how they get there.
You have to have such a strong moral conviction that your product is the best possible choice for your customers, you will happily talk to them all day, chase people who have expressed an interest, and tell them to find the money or use a credit card. Your moral conviction to help your customers has to be so strong, that you don’t just believe your products are valuable. You will do everything you can to convince the customer.
And the easiest way to believe that your customers want your product, is to create something that they want, not something that you think they need.
You have multiple vehicles to help your audience
Every product and service that you create, is another vehicle which you use to execute your mission statement. If your mission statement is to help YouTube channels with over 10,000 subscribers monetise their audience without advertising revenue. Then you have multiple ways to be able to achieve that mission. You have multiple vehicles to be able to arrive at that destination of a better future.
Some vehicles will be slower but more affordable, others will get them there faster, but require a large investment.
If you were to release a series of blog posts, those might be free or very low paid subscription. But they require more work from the customer and won’t be as in-depth and tailored to their business. A $19 e-book could also teach them how to achieve that mission, but again would require a lot of work on their behalf.
Higher ticket items like a $25,000 consultation or a $100,000 marketing automation platform, will not only get them those results and that future faster and easier-but it will also get them more than they expect. If your market has a absolute investment ceiling of $2000, don’t deliver them a $25,000 product for $2000.
Instead, build a product that is worth $2000. Help businesses get to the future that they desire, using a vehicle which is profitable for you. You are under absolutely no obligation to create custom marketing funnels using websites, automation platforms and emails. That is one vehicle to get someone a result. And unless they can afford that vehicle, you can’t provide it to them. But you are more than welcome and happy to create products and services which are more scalable, cost less and require a lower investment.
You must stick to a product if you want it to be profitable
And this is where things get tricky. It’s extremely tempting to change products and services depending on what people tell you they want.
One minute, the idea of creating an online course and selling it for $1500 sounds like the world’s greatest idea. But then someone else tells you that they would rather buy a $19 e-book. And then someone else tells you that they would happily spend $25,000 on a full platform and campaign from you.
The important part is that you stick to a product and repeatedly make offers to the market for that one product. Creating a new product from scratch, with the idea that it will become scalable in future, only works when you commit to that product.
It becomes very tempting to start creating more products and services, that you think the market will want because one person is telling you they’d buy.
If you want a product to truly become profitable and generate recurring income, or scalable income. Then you have to build it and repeatedly make offers to the market. Create an audience that desires your product, rather than repeatedly creating products for different marketplaces.
I completely subscribe to the idea that we must find products for our customers, rather than customers for our products. But until we have developed a strong foundation of customers who have all bought one product, we can’t make more products for that market.
As we mentioned above, businesses are defined by the markets they serve not the products they create. If one person has bought your product, that will serve as many other people in that marketplace as any other product. There is no such thing as a golden opportunity or a goldmine product.
Every product requires enormous investment, traction and work to build it to profitability.
Productize, not service
Finally, take a lesson from big banks and large corporations over the last 30 years. We should be learning to create products and turning services into products that can be easily sold and delivered at scale.
Anyone can create a custom consultancy service from scratch. It’s very easy to do because all it requires is one customer telling you they want help with one problem.
Businesses that grow have a standardised process for delivering results to a customer. Typically we would call this product.
I don’t have a problem with one-on-one services and consulting. My problem is that most consultancies and service-based businesses are charging product level prices, but delivering bespoke service solutions.
If your customers have only got a certain budget, that’s absolutely fine. But don’t deliver them a $25,000 product, for a $3000 budget. You should be creating repeatable, scalable products that deliver results to your customers.
The crazy thing is that most of us have already created these products, we simply haven’t recorded them and delivered them.
We all dream of an idea where we have a scalable repeatable product that we could just find customers for. But as soon as finding customers becomes slow or difficult, we want to move onto the next product. Imagining that somehow the next product will be more successful than last.
Success is driven through a commitment to excellence. A commitment to excellence is a definitive statement by the way.
Excellence being defined as seeing something to completion. That is the definition of excellence. Very few people attain excellence because very few people are willing to see something through to completion.
Just because you’ve created a product, sold 10 of them and then struggled to find any more customers, you have to stick with it and repeatedly make offer to the marketplace, in order to make sales.
Sure, the marketplace might tell you that they are interested in buying this. But I believe most products fail because people don’t commit to them and try to make enough offers, rather than the product being a bad product.
Finding your first customer
Once we have a pricing strategy and money management strategy, a product that we believe is providing genuinely to the marketplace and an offer which our market will understand. We have to find our first customer. Now you might be looking to find your 10th or 10,000th customer. But the process doesn’t change. The important part is that it’s repeatable, scalable and you’re happy to commit to it.
When you find one customer with a process that works, your job is simply to repeat that.
There’s no secret to finding your first customer
The only difficult thing when it comes to finding your first customer is getting over the fear of attempting to find your first customer. But there isn’t a secret to finding you first customer. The way you find your first customer is going to be the same way you find your 10th and your 100th customer.
Push your ideas and value out to the marketplace, collect contact information from people and make offers.
You could do this through referral marketing, networking, content marketing, search engine optimisation, advertising. That’s pushing your ideas out to the marketplace.
We collect contact information by getting people to call us, collecting information from them, asking for an email address.
And once we’ve got that contact information from them, we make an offer to help them. No, you’re probably not going make a $25,000 sale based off one email or referral. You might need to make a lower value offer such as a coaching call or a consultation session, before making the large high ticket items. This is why I have a suite of products at various price points, as well as free content like training and blog posts. Because I want the audience at various levels to get value from me.
If you want to help co-working spaces increase the number of full-time members, your job is to find networks of co-working spaces. Reach out to your audience, network, family and friends and ask them “does anyone know any co-working spaces?”
Your job is to then get contact information from those co-working spaces, and reach out to them and make an offer. Offer to do a free audit, have a free consultation, or deliver them a $100,000 marketing platform.
The more value you deliver upfront, the higher you can charge
This rule has helped me immeasurably throughout my entire process of setting up both agencies and Sell Your Service. The more value you deliver up front, the higher the price you can charge when you make an offer.
Read through and fully understand what we’re saying there. The more value you deliver upfront, the higher the price you can charge.
If you have created a series of free training videos, some great blog posts, and an online webinar. That might be enough value upfront before you’ve charged anything to make an offer for a $2000 product. It might be enough value for you to go to make an offer for a $25,000 or 100,000 of the product.
Or if you have previously sold them a $19 e-book or a $200 consultation call, if you’ve delivered enough value beforehand you can charge high prices on the back end.
The more time and effort you put into helping your marketplace solve problems and get results, before having to commit to you, the happier and faster they will pay higher prices.
Your network wants to refer you (but they need to know who you work with)
We’ve talked about this before how your network will happily make referrals, when they know who you work with. When everyone in your marketplace knows that you work with co-working spaces, or businesses with 6 office spaces, or subscription-based businesses or companies with splinter products or authors launching their 2nd book or fridge manufacturing companies that want to license their product to soft drink manufacturers. They are more likely to make referrals.
You have an army of salespeople who are meeting new people every single day. Even if you’ve never made a sale, the relationships that you’ve built with your friends, families and colleagues will serve you well.
They all want to see you succeed and they will be happy to make recommendations for you. Even if they don’t fully know who the industry or niche is, if they recognise or hear that industry or niche from somebody else, they will be happy to recommend you.
If you’re struggling to make referrals, it’s usually because your network doesn’t know who to refer you to. If you are a software manufacturer that only works with accountants, who would your network happily refer to you? It won’t be headphone manufacturers, software businesses or sports close businesses. They’ll recommend you to accountants.
That’s because they know that you work with accountants.
We have to collect “nos” to earn a “yes”
Prospecting, lead generation and making pitches is gonna help you get very good at hearing the word no. You might not hear “no” in as many words, it will be phrased very differently every single time. But people are going to give you nos more than they can give you yeses.
Here’s the thing though, no matter how sophisticated our marketing gets, no matter how clever our algorithms and automation processes become. Our job is to collect as many nos every single day as we can. Because every single no we collect gets us closer to yes.
People will say no to initial meetings. People will say no to visiting your website. People say no to product offers, pitches, referrals, adverts, joining groups, listening to talks and anything else. You will need to collect as many nos as you can, before someone says yes.
Think of it as cashing in nos to earn a yes.
Nothing will replace phone calls and prospecting
Another note on our sophisticated automation and marketing techniques, is that nothing will replace a phone call and face-to-face prospecting.
If you need to make sales, close customers and generate income for your business-absolutely nothing will replace picking up the phone and speaking to people. Content marketing is extremely powerful and very effective. It’s also a pillar of our own marketing strategy. But people often use social marketing, search marketing, content marketing and anything else that removes them from having a human conversation, as an excuse for avoiding phone conversations.
I remember giving sales teams printed out CSV lists with phone numbers from customers or prospects that have expressed an interest in their business. And yet they will still do everything they can to avoid picking up the phone and have a human conversation with someone.
It’s not about having the right script, or the world’s best sales manner. It’s purely getting over the initial fear of rejection, and having someone else on the phone.
Having a human conversation with someone is the fastest way to build a relationship. I can tell how long a business will last depending on how many human conversations they’re having every single day.
Even businesses that rely on scalable products and delivery, have to have a human sales component.
We run extremely sophisticated marketing automation campaigns to generate sales for productivity software, server racks, insurance , accountancy training and everything else in between.
But absolutely nothing will replace someone who has a genuine moral belief that their product is the best thing the customer can buy, combined with a phone call. The world’s greatest funnel builder will still only make half the money as an average funnel builder who is willing to have phone conversations.
Just because someone doesn’t say yes, doesn’t mean they are saying no
And on the note of prospects and customers rejecting you, just because someone hasn’t said yes, doesn’t mean they are saying no.
Let’s think about most offers that you make to your marketplace and customers. You’ll either be asking them to buy something, or you’re asked for some kind of commitment such as a meeting or a pitch. It’s actually very rare for someone to say no. If someone was to say no I can ask them why, learn their objection and turn it.
Instead, most people are apathetic. Most people will give you absolutely no feedback and you’ll never hear from them again. That’s not them saying no, that’s them not getting back to you. Your job is to follow up with people until they say no.
I can’t tell you how many clients we’ve won through repeatedly catching up with them, trying to book calls and making offers. Even if they say no, most of the time what they really mean is “not right now”. Customers have got a lot on, we’re all busy. They want you to nudge them and tell them that you can repeatedly help them.
If someone tells you that they never want to hear from you again, then absolutely move on.
In the interest of full transparency. And because I know that both of my sales coaches will be reading this blog post, I want to make it clear that even when customers have screamed down the phone at me to stop calling them, 99.9% of the time is because they are having a bad day. I’ve lost count of how many customers who have told me to fuck off are then my best friends the next day. I’ve even had customers apologise to me for speaking to me so badly on the phone. And then of course, they bought for me.
I believe the difference between hearing no and quitting is what separates good businesses from bad businesses. Even if someone says no they don’t want to buy from me, my moral conviction that this product is so valuable to them is so strong, I will push past that and do everything I can to sell to them. The difference between hard sell and persistence, is that the hard sell relies on false scarcity tactics and pressure to buy. Repeated persistence over time telling someone that you can help them, is not the hard sell.
Frankly, a lot of funnel businesses need to get up and start being more persistent with their customers, if they really want their business. An easy sale is only 1/100 of the time. The other 99 are found through persistence and regular follow-up.
Don’t confuse busywork and admin with sales nurturing and prospecting
Finally I want to end on a note about sales work and busywork. If I gave you a list of 10 potential customers, who have expressed some kind of interest in your business, you should be jumping at the chance to have a conversation with them. It staggers me how many sales teams and sales people I see on a Monday morning, checking your emails, browsing Facebook and buying shit on Amazon. The first thing that they should be doing on a Monday, is picking up the phone and dialling as many leads and prospects as possible.
Dialling 50 leads within an hour, is perfectly doable and will yield you 50 times more results than doing any kind of admin and busywork.
Yes, there is always pressure to update CRM, file your paperwork and attend meetings.
Similar to the money sharks from the previous section, there are also time sharks.
If we let these time sharks dictate how we spend our time, we will absolutely never generate the income and customers that we require.
Productivity is achieving the most amount of results possible with the lowest amount of effort. Sitting at a desk and dialling 50 phone numbers or sending 50 emails to generate one sale will yield you one more sale than checking Facebook or updating your LinkedIn status.
The absolute fundamental paramount activity, for your business to generate revenue and sales, is to focus on the activity which is responsible for 100% of revenue and sales.
No business has ever been successful and profitable because they had a really good admin system. No one in history has ever made sales because they have the world’s best LinkedIn profile.
Your job is to call people who are interested in your business and interested in your product, and talk to them. Remember, this is a question of morality. You have to believe that your product has a moral obligation to be in the hands of the consumer.
OK this sounds great, but…
I don’t like to sell and my customers don’t like being sold to
I completely understand how you feel, and I have a lot of funnel businesses say the exact same thing. People don’t like being sold to, but people do like to buy.
If you have a infectious, enthusiastic presentation style. And if you are persistent enough, your customers won’t expect to be sold to, they’re expecting you to help them. There is nothing that can replace genuine enthusiasm and willingness to help.
The reason you don’t like selling is probably the same reason people don’t like being sold to-most of us are hardwired to avoid confrontation. The idea of being sold and having to reject someone is as terrifying as selling to someone and being rejected. Your job is to make that customer as comfortable as possible before having a conversation with them about how you can make their life better.
Don’t think of it as getting good sales, think of it is getting good at helping your audience.
I’m afraid that my niche will be too small
I also hear from a lot of funnel builders, that they are afraid to niche down in case their niche is too small. While I completely understand the supposed rationale behind creating the market is too small, these fears are often unfounded.
Let’s say that you are to define an extremely specific market that you can add massive value to. First of all, no one is forcing you to only work in this market, if you decide to go after that niche and you can see that a) the players in that market are unable to sustain you and b) there isn’t enough demand in that market, then move on.
My question to you would be “are you inundated with leads and prospects right now?”
Most of the time our funnel businesses could use more customers more frequently. Defining a niche is the fastest way for you to generate more work for yourself. As soon as you are able to go after a specific set of people, and a specific problem or result that they need, you’ll find more work.
If you try to go after everyone, you’ll attract no one.
I completely understand that going after niche is very scary, and it requires an enormous leap of faith. But you’ve come this far! Why not take that final plunge and define the market that you’re going to help go after. The funny thing that happens, is that people from other markets, industries and niche is will ask if you can help them to. So you end up attracting more customers from a variety of sources, simply by narrowing down who you go after.
This sounds like a lot of work
Finally, yes. This is a lot of work. Businesses that succeed and grow and become profitable for the owner, do so because the owner is willing to do the work for others aren’t.
Anyone can sell a funnel and call themselves a funnel builder. But the ones that succeed are the ones that will consistently add value to a marketplace which they’ve defined.
Funnel builders tell me that they aren’t afraid of hard work. And yet when we position this plan in front of them, they take a big gulp and realise just how much hard work it’s going to be.
I know how long it’s taken me of consistent focus and dedication to a market, to attract the right customers repeatedly to my business.
I’m often tempted by new opportunities, but I have to stay the course and recommit to my market and product. It’s not to say that I’m not open to new opportunities, but I know the cost of a new opportunity.
If you’re serious about running a successful profitable funnel business, you need The Funnel Business Gameplan
If you’re serious about building a profitable successful marketing funnel business, and you’ve read this far, then you are the perfect student for our brand-new course. The Funnel Business Gameplan is a course designed exactly for funnel builders like you. It takes you through all the steps above in greater detail and depth, while supporting you with video lessons, worksheets, templates and quizzes.
We cover everything in this blog post and more
Everything in this blog post and more is covered in greater detail, and is going to help you attract more high paying customers to your funnel business. Imagine waking up and seeing new leads and interested prospects in your inbox. Stop worrying whether you are too expensive or too niche, and start helping customers that want to work with you.
You can buy lifetime access to the course here
We have a lifetime access available to the course, complete with all the materials and future updates for a one time price available here.
How to run a profitable, successful marketing funnel business
Running a successful marketing business and a profitable marketing funnel business must adhere to certain truths.
There are no businesses exempt from the fundamental laws of scaling and running a profitable, successful business. If you are the business owner and you deliver the results, your business will never become as profitable as it could be. Unless you can deliver 1000 orders to customers, then you’ll never scale past where you are today. And unless the product or service is a repeatable process, you will always struggle with pricing and roadblocks in delivery.
Running your marketing funnel business must be true and specific to your vision values and mindset
Your business should be set up to serve you. You are the most important component inside the entire business. Your vision for the future and the values that you use every day will determine how successful and how far your marketing funnel business will go. Unless you are aware of those values and that vision, your business will always be directionless and will constantly go in circles.
Your market and niche is a hundred times more important than the technology or tools used to deliver to a customer
Only when you have defined a niche in a market that you are going to dedicate yourself to, commit to and serve, will you find profit and success. The tools that you use and the technology that you’ve invested in, in order to do your job, has absolutely no bearing on your ability to grow a profitable successful business.
You have to plan a funnel business to work for you otherwise you will work for it
We have to plan our funnel business and understand exactly what is going to determine a successful profitable business. You need to know your personal expenses and costs, as well as your sales and delivery process for yourself and your team.
It’s absolutely fine for you to be the primary rainmaker sales driver, before passing work onto your team. But you must have a plan to drive that process, and stick to it.
Determine your price first and work out how much you need to make in order to pay yourself
Unless you know what your costs are, you’ll always struggle with pricing. Money has a funny way of slipping through your fingers, unless you have a very clear vision on where each dollar is going to go. Every dollar has to have a job, and it to your job to determine where each dollar goes.
You can only ever sell what people want not what they need
People might need a remarketing campaign and an email automation sales process, but they want more time with the family, more freedom and a sense of pride about their business.
We should be selling futures, not features. People want the benefits in their future, but they do not want the features. They might use features after they’ve bought as a way of rationalising and justifying their purchase for. But all sales, even for marketing and sales processes, are bought on emotion. People want sixpacks but they need diet and exercise. Sell the sixpack not the diet.
Once you’ve found your first customer you can find 100 or 1000 customers
Finally, your sales and attraction process should be as repeatable as your delivery process. The interesting thing about sales and marketing is that it isn’t hard, it’s simply a grind. It requires persistence and commitment to a market, in order to prove that you care about them more than your competitors or anyone else in the marketplace.
All customers really want is a reliable supplier. They want to handover money in exchange for results. It’s really a simple as that. You have to repeatedly produce valuable insight and help them as much as possible, in order to prove that you are the most helpful supplier they could work with. If you want to become the most valuable supplier to your marketplace, think about what you have to do.
It isn’t actually difficult, it simply delivering consistent results and helping people over a long period of time.
Profitable, successful marketing funnel business
If you want to run a successful profitable business, that pays you a salary, allows you to save money and spend less time at the office, then our course is the best way for you to do that. It’s the most valuable investment and course that a final business can make.
You’re going to build a profitable, successful funnel business
90% of traffic to this blog post won’t read past the first few paragraphs
If you’ve got to this point and you’ve read the entire post, I congratulate you. The truth is (and I can tell this from our content analytics) that 90% of the visitors to this blog post won’t get past the first few paragraphs.
Of the 10% that are left 9% will read the post and never do anything with it, but always complain that their funnel business isn’t growing
Those that do read this blog content, will still find excuses on why their life isn’t what they want. I would argue that your life is exactly what you want, because it’s the life you’ve got.
If you want to do something different with your life then you’ve got to do something different with your life.
I’ve given you the entire plan within this blog post, and there is a killer course available for the sake of a few hundred dollars that could transform your funnel business into a profitable, successful business.
Of the 1% that are left, only a handful of them will read this and understand that they have to do create a profitable successful business by themselves. It doesn’t happen by accident
I want you to be part of the 1%. The tiny fraction of people who read this content and then go and do something with it. If you created a business that was a hundred times more successful than mine, I would love that. I already believe that you are a smarter funnel builder than me.
You’re probably a better designer, you’re almost certainly a better content creator and copywriter. I believe that you could add massive value to hundreds if not thousands of people and businesses. The only person in your way is you. You’ve got the plan here. If it feels overwhelming, buy the course.
My course will take you step-by-step, through the process of creating and transforming your business, whether it’s a new business or no business, into a profitable successful marketing funnel business. There is absolutely no reason not to create the business of your dreams, this year.
If you found this blog post useful, let me know in the comments below. What was the biggest takeaway to you? Have you signed up to The Funnel Business Gameplan?
Have you signed up to the funnel building course? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to see how you’re finding it.
If this blog post was useful I’d really appreciate a share on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. If you want to talk about it on YouTube then that would be fantastic and I’ll happily collaborate with you and send you any resources you need to get something like that going.
If this has been useful please let me know in the comments and what your biggest takeaway was.
If you have any questions please just email me at email@example.com, and I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.
Thank you so much for reading this blog post, I massively appreciate your time invested in this content.
Keep building those funnels, Mike.