When you start out as a freelancer, your journey consists of figuring out who your ideal clients are, how to reach them, and building a service around one of their burning problems. Now what? It's time to build a funnel.
Chris Evans is the cofounder of Traffic and Funnels with his business partner, Taylor Welch. Their agency specializes in building out funnels for consultants and service providers. So we’re not talking about selling ebooks here, we’re talking about using these strategies to sell $10,000+ services.
Chris shares with us the process of building out an effective sales funnel for selling higher priced services and how to use paid traffic to attract your target market to your funnel.
Chris shares with us:
Chris found himself as a new father and unable to afford diapers for his son. That's when he discovered and fell in love with marketing.
“If you can spend $1 on an ad and make $2, you'll never have to worry about money again.”
Of course, it takes a lot of work to get to the point where you return such a high profit, but once you figure out the ad stuff and especially the psychology of building good relationships with high level prospects, you get control over your money and finances. So the real reward is peace of mind and not having to worry about money.
To get there, let's build a funnel.
“A funnel is a sequential order of taking a person who doesn't know who you are to the place of decision where they want to hire you.”
Basically, you go out to where you ideal clients are, who have a specific problem, and you hold up a sign saying why the problem is bad, how it will continue to make things worse, and how you can fix it.
Most people make this more difficult than it needs to be. Here is the simple recipe:
1. You need a person or business that has a major pain.
First, you need to understand your target market. Obsessively understand. You need to know what shows they watch, what books they read, what celebrities they follow, and what magazines they read.
For example, most of Chris's clients use iPhone and gmail. So when he is ready to run ads, he won't advertise to android users.
How do you figure this out? Look at your current clients who you love working with. Are they a certain demographic? Male or female? Age range? Do they drive a certain car? Do they follow certain software? You will start to see patterns between your clients. Look at their Facebook profiles and their friends in the same industry. Look at LinkedIn. Look at their purchases and find groups of people who have bought the same webinar.
You also need to understand the pain thoroughly. You need to know how it develops, the ongoing issues it can cause, and the different ways of solving it. It has to be a pressing problem that resonates with your prospects.
Once you are confident that you know your market, inside and out, then you are ready to make a funnel to get them into your universe.
2. Then you need an offer, the thing that will take the person from A to B.
Think big. The pain should be high-ticket, so you can charge $10-20,000 to solve the problem.
Don't get caught up in the technology of how to do this. The prospect doesn't care about the process. They care about the end result. So, you're not going to sell the process, you are going to sell the solution.
3. Then, you need to get your message to that person or business that has the problem.
Your message needs to:
Push the pain: For example, “You're website should be producing X, but it's not, so you are losing sales.”
Compound the pain the consequences of not fixing it: Explain how the pain will suck away time and the opportunity loss of not fixing it.
Ray of hope: “The way you fix the problem is to have a conversation with us. We can figure out how our service can apply to your specific situation to solve the problem.”
The message can take many forms, such as a webinar, but validate first, before investing in a webinar!
Here's the whole process in a nutshell:
“Listen, you have a broken leg right now, the bone is sticking out. I want to show that to you. If you don't get that fixed, you're going to be really jacked up.”
Then, you show them how you can fix it.
Of course, they could fix the problem themselves, but it will be a much better outcome if you do it as the expert.
Following this recipe, you will work with fewer clients, better clients, and make more money.
“Always validate before you automate!”
You can never get time back! So sell it before you even have it built because you can waste time developing an automated system and no one will come if you haven't validated the idea.
So when you first make a sales funnel, keep it small with a validation group to make sure it will work, then later you can automate it with processes like webinars.
Let's get into the details:
“One micro-sale every step.”
Once you have the recipe, you know who your market is, you know their problem, you know how to solve it, and you've validated it, you can now start finding prospects through paid traffic. Use all of those bits of trivia about your market to get your message in front of their eyes.
Chris's agency spends $20-30,000 on Facebook ads each month. It could be LinkedIn, Youtube, or whatever platform your prospects hang out on. There isn't going to be an option in Facebook to target bakers or dentists. That's why doing your research about the market is so important. You can find out that all the bakers follow a particular magazine, so you advertise to the followers of that magazine.
The other way to do it is to upload an email list that you already have. Now you can target these people directly, and you can create a look-alike audience, which is an extremely powerful tool! Facebook will find a million or so people who are very similar to the people you uploaded. You will have to experiment to find the best way to target your audience, but Facebook will certainly help.
The ad should get the prospect's attention, be relatable to the audience and what they want to accomplish, and get the click. For example:
“How to build a $15-20,000/month consulting client business, Free Webinar.”
The goal of paid traffic is to bring people to the registration page for the webinar.
The registration page talks about what is going to be said in the webinar. The copy starts with the one thing that your audience wants to accomplish in their business.
The purpose of the registration page is to sell the prospects on why they should sign up for the webinar.
The webinar is a framing device that breaks down the prospects' current way of looking at their problem and rebuild it with what you need them to believe to have a conversation. Often, people don't know what their problem is in their business.
It's about emotion. The webinar helps the client imagine what their business would be like if they had 1,000 new prospects a month. This is called future pacing. You are giving them some value so they can implement some solutions themselves, but for the best and quickest results, they can work with you.
The goal of the webinar is to get the prospect to apply to have a conversation with you about you doing the work.
The webinar has positioned you as the go-to expert on solving their problem. Therefore, it is a privilege and an honour for the prospect to talk to you. You don't just talk to everybody.
Making the prospect apply for a conversation keeps you in a position of respect. Your time is extremely valuable. So this lets you filter down to the best prospects.
In the application, Chris asks questions such as do they invest in their business, how much money are they currently making, how much do they want to make, do they have the money to invest in their business right now, what makes them different from other applicants, and when do they want to get started.
Finally, the conversation.
Now you have a conversation with the prospect. This isn't a sales call. This is a conversation that lets you diagnose the prospect's problem. At this point, it should make logical, emotional, and financial sense for them to hire you as the go-to expert freelancer.
And now some numbers:
It costs Chris about $15 in ads to get one person to sign up for a webinar. Only about 50% who sign up will show up, so that's $30 per attendee. Of the ones who attend, about 10% will apply to talk to Chris, and then Chris will close about 20% of the people who he talks to one on one.
Let's say you want 1 client from a funnel. Working backwards, that means you need to close 1 prospect from the 5 that applied to talk to you. That means, 50 people had to have attended your webinar. And that means, 100 people had to have signed up for your webinar. So to get that one client, it would have cost you $1,500 in advertising.
If your selling a high-ticket service of $10,000 or more, the advertising costs are easily covered. If you are only charging $2,000 for your service, then you don't have a large margin for error if things go wrong.
This is how Chris can predict how many clients he is going to get every month based on the number of people who opt-in to his funnels. No more anxiety about whether or not he will get clients. It's a numbers game!
But if you just want one client, there is a much faster and easier way than using a funnel. Go find one person that meets your ideal client on Facebook, and sell organically. Again, do this first as validation before you automate!
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