In this blog post I’m going to share 5 income generating ideas that you could build for your business, today.
- How to work less and achieve more with products
- 5 different product ideas no matter how experienced you are
- Why newbie marketing funnel businesses outpace older agencies (and how to copy them)
You’re choking your income potential
What we as funnel builders or consultants or agencies deliver to the customer, is varied and complex. Even when you have a defined process and specific productised service that you deliver, the journey itself is very nuanced.
Chances are that you’re capable of building multiple assets within a marketing funnel. Even if you aren’t the one building it, your business has many different “things” that it can build for customers. Right?
Landing pages, optin forms, blog post design, CRM integration, email copy writing, sales letters. Even when you’re focused on a specific area like just delivering registration pages for webinars, that are dozens of specific activities that you do for the customer.
The problem is that we try to sell all that intricacy and complexity. When we sell to customers we try to capture all those small details and it bores customers to DEATH.
At Sell Your Service we say “sell futures not features” and it’s done us well. It means that what we sell needs to be tied to the future life that the customer can see.
The more complex we make the message, the less interested the customer becomes. And that’s what’s killing your income. Contrary to popular belief AND even to what customers might say, they don’t want a complete 360, one-stop-shop solution. What they want is THEIR specific problem SOLVED.
And as agencies we try to solve all their problems, plus problems they don’t even know they have, in one solution. And it sucks.
Funnel builders build funnels…right?
There’s a concept called Rebel Idea coined by Matthew Syed in his book, Rebel Ideas.
A rebel idea is when you take a commonly accepted idea, one that seems obvious and even taken for granted, and flip it.
For example: “Restaurants have menus” is a commonly accepted idea.
The rebel idea would be: Restaurants don’t have menus.
The rebel idea is designed to ask us to think differently about our business and accepted wisdom which is perhaps slowing down innovation and growth.
While you might not end up with a restaurant that has no menus. You begin to explore the idea of delivering results to the customer without the traditional constraints.
Interestingly, there is a type of restaurant without a menu. “Garde-manger du chef” is a French rustic restaurant style which roughly translates to “Chef’s larder”. You walk in and decide that you’re going to eat, the chef decides what you eat based on what they’ve got in.
It’s a wonderful way to eat fresh seasonal produce. Many Japanese restaurants also have “chefs choice” which puts your trust in their hands and they deliver you a wonderful, seasonal specialist meal.
If we take that and extract it further, you’re able to offer a rustic, simple but sophistacated and seasonal menu that has low overheads and is a little off-beat. Sounds like a great restaurant idea to me.
So, do funnel builders build funnels? The commonly accepted idea is that yes, of course they have to build funnels.
Mike…if there is one thing I know, it’s that a market service business MUST deliver market services!
Rebel idea: Funnel builders don’t build funnels for customers.
Delivery does not equal results. The problem is exclusive of the solution. If people need help with something and need a problem solved, there are many many ways to solve that problem.
Creating multiple streams of income for your funnel business
Hyper specific consulting packages
When we sell anything to customers, they’re buying because they believe that the problem you solve is more important than the money they’re handing over.
The problem we face with our current consulting and agency models is that we have such broad areas of expertise, that we don’t offer anything specific.
If you can build a small group of hyper specific consulting packages, I promise you that you’ll increase your income streams.
Remember, if you want a complete guide and workshop on building products we have our extremely powerful Product Creation Workshop available here.
What you need to do is take a broad area of expertise and think about the very specific skill sets within that area. From marketing strategy, to funnel design, all the way down to cart-abandonment email automation.
If you can identify a few specific skills and the problem they solve within that area, you’ll create hyper specific consulting packages that are hard for customers to ignore.
The more specific the problem you can solve and the clearer you can articulate that problem, the more likely the customer is to buy.
For example, if we take “squeeze page design” there are a handful of skills that sit within that area.
- headline writing and copy
- optin form design and copy
- bullet point writing
- optin form connection to CRM
- thank you page redirect
There are dozens more and you might think of specific skills that aren’t on that list – awesome. There isn’t a right or wrong, just different.
Each one of those bullet skills solves a hyper-specific problem. Headline writing and copy solves the problem of “not enough people read my page and sign up”.
Thank you page redirects solves the problem of “when people sign up it costs me money and it takes ages to get them to buy a product”.
When you take those specific problems and reword them to something that directly affects the customer, you have a very compelling and desirable product that your customers would want to buy. For example:
Broad area: squeeze pages
Specific skill: bullet point writing
Solve one problem: not enough optins
Hyper specific consulting package: Increase leads from current optin pages
If you offered very targeting consulting based on specific problems, you will see more sales. Yes, you will have MORE people say “that’s not a problem I have” but those that DO have that problem are much more likely to buy.
Scalable information products
Information products get a bad rap because:
- There are so many of them
- Most of them are shit
We’ve all bought reports and guides that we’ve never used or read. The desire to fix the problem fades as soon as the report looks like a lot of work.
Many funnel businesses will shy away from creating information products, purely out of mistaken belief that people don’t value them. Or, because we hear lots of people complain about information products, we don’t want to be lumped in with that perception.
However there are customers who do read and use information products, such as reports, guides, training and courses. And they get a massive amount from them.
Don’t be too quick to dismiss having a few information products in your product menagerie, simply because you’re worried about what people might think.
“But aren’t most info products bad quality?” Yes of course they are, but so are most products. Are you planning on creating a low quality product?
Besides, as I’ve said 10000000000 times before “sell futures not features”. If your info product can solve a specific problem and deliver a killer benefit, who cares if it’s an information product?
Yes most people won’t take action with it, just like you haven’t taken action on every purchase you’ve ever made. But I’ve got news for you, MOST people don’t take action on MOST products.
When I worked at WPElevation, I was staggered at how many people would purchase and then just never do anything with it. To be fair to Troy and the team, it was a lower % than most other online courses. And the quality of the material in WPE is second to none.
Yet, people still just bought and ignored.
Only recently I was on a $10,000 coaching programme for my own business. While certainly a sizeable investment for me, apparently some people didn’t worry to much about the price because I could literally see fewer and fewer people turn up each month.
It’s not up to you to decide whether someone get’s value from your products or not. And info products are a beautiful way to generate multiple income streams at scale, plus, make sales over and over.
Info products don’t need to be complicated or lengthy. They can be extremely cheap to produce PLUS they’re a massive time saver when people ask you the same question over and over and over! Why not get paid for it at least?
It drives me to despair seeing how many funnel agencies and marketers could be making sales and income with affiliate products, but refuse to do so.
Again, it’s the usual bullshit excuse of “lots of affiliates are low quality. I hear people don’t like affiliates” etc.
If you’re going to run your entire business based around whether you’re going to hurt other people’s feelings, or if they’ll hurt yours, you’ve got bigger problems than scale and income.
On your laptop right now, you probably have at least 10 – 20 different potential affiliate products waiting to be promoted.
You’ve also got 2 potential audiences. Customers and colleagues.
No, no one likes it when people post affiliate product links in a Facebook group, without offering value and community spirit first. Don’t be that person.
But, if you discover something that helps you concentrate and achieve deep levels of focus, to produce your best work AND you get a free trial, why wouldn’t you mention brain.fm (yep – affiliate link) to your gym buddies.
True friends, people that you’ve really connected with, are happy to buy things through affiliate links. 99% of people are happy to do it.
- They don’t pay more and if anything usually get a bit of a discount
- They want to support you and if they can do it for free, even better
- Your energy and gas supplier
- Your streaming service
- Your page builder
- Plugins like our social proof thing in the bottom left
You’ve got so many options and no, it won’t make you millions overnight. But for the sake of a spreadsheet and a few short URLs you could comfortably begin adding a healthy income to your funnel business.
Content is a lifelong promoter of product that you could generate income from. I generate a few thousand in revenue each month just from a handful of courses, plugins and software that I promote via YouTube.
You know full well how to begin driving traffic and promoting a product. You now don’t even need the product, you need income and you could promote and sell other people’s products for a decent chunk of the revenue, but zero delivery responsibility.
Co-consulting is an area that my first business partners and I made lots of money from, just by offering complimentary services.
It works like this. Take one of your core areas of expertise, or even better, one of your hyper-targeted consulting packages from above, and ask the question “what comes after this?”
For all your skills and specific “one problem” packages, there are complimentary skills that will take the customer to the next level. If you help people write killer bullet points for their squeeze page, what would they need after that?
Sales emails for a future product? Thank you page design? CRM integration?
If you widen your focus a little and think about the broader area we started with, such as squeeze page design, what would come after that?
- email nurturing
- webinar sales
- creating products
The list goes on. And you can go really deep with co-consulting because you are building sales with multiple people. Some people refer to this as “joint venture” or JV, but they also have a habit of overcomplicating things.
Keep it stupid, simple. Launching a small co-consulting product could be as simple as 2 x 1hour workshops with each consultant on one of their specific topics.
I’ll teach how to price a funnel, Adam teaches how to write the proposal.
You teach how to build a squeeze page, Mike teaches how to sell a product.
Liv teaches how to choose the best trainers, Howard books your next 5 races with you.
What works with, and compliments your skill set? When Mark and I started, he is KILLER at helping customers see the big picture and the potential of their business. I was brought in to help them plan the sales and marketing route for that journey.
Finally, group coaching.
- Tons of group coaching programmes already? Yep.
- Many are awful? Sure
- Massive potential opportunity for your business? 100%
But Mike, my customers are time poor. They don’t have a lot of free time and they definitely don’t want to spend time on a group call.
Sorry, that’s completely unacceptable in my eyes and a good example of “the life lie”.
The Life Lie: the false conviction held by some individuals that their life plan is bound to fail due to other people or to circumstances beyond their control. This was postulated as a method of freeing oneself from personal responsibility.Defined by Alfred Adler
Basically, “I can’t do X because of Y”.
I can’t do group coaching, because people are time poor.
I’ll let you in on three secrets of creating and selling products.
- No one thinks they’ve got too much money
- No one thinks they’ve got too much time
- No one thinks they’ve got too much energy/focus
Every single one of your customers would benefit from a community membership, lead by someone such as yourself. And absolutely none of them are sat around thinking “I’ve got too much time on my hands.”
Well…at the time of writing the entire globe is pretty much in a state of lockdown and more people than ever do have more time on their hands. So if you were ever going to release a group coaching programme…
Apart from the extraordinary circumstance above, and even then, most people are not sat around wishing they had more to do, or that they have too much money.
Of course your customers tell you that they’re time poor. Of course your customers tell you they haven’t got any money. So what? They still find time for the 1009080035 other things they need to do. You have to make it clear that your group coaching is more valuable than they other places they’re spending their time.
You don’t need to create an ongoing recurring coaching programme. It could be a limited time run of 3 months or 6 weeks. Taking people through a process or system and educate them each week.
There are a ton of options for creating a coaching programme. The easiest method I know is to create a bullet list of 13 items (one of each week in a roughly 3 month calendar) and tell people the overall topic.
Take on of your specific problems and break it down into 13 steps. You don’t even need to have all 13 planned out, just take a first few and get people on a call.
NO it doesn’t HAVE to be Zoom. I used to run phone coaching all the time, getting people on a group call via a phone and just keep the line open while I talk.
Then I’ll take Q&A at the end and make sure I record every call. Because I’ll package that up as a product later on 😉
Create scalable products
As I’ve mentioned, I’ve got a Product Creation Workshop here which takes you through the entire process of building a scalable, infinitely repeatable product in an afternoon.
Agency owners or funnel builders serious about scaling their revenue NEED multiple streams of income. We need to free ourselves from the constraints of traditional and outdated service delivery models.
Start with the smaller items like info product and co-consulting and work your way through the other ideas in the post.
If you liked this post, I’d appreciate a share or a comment. Let me know if you agree or disagree!