Teachable is the #1 platform for course creators. An Annual Plan on Teachable is 20% off. But wait..there’s more.
Teachable is giving away a MASSIVE bundle of business-building bonuses worth $5,513 FOR FREE.
These include: 3 months of Canva for creation of graphics and opt-ins
3 months of Opt-in Monster to get your Opt-ins out into the world
3 months of ConvertKit mail service provider
PLUS you get the Teachable Masterclass series. This is the series of courses that I personally used to learn how to create and market an online course. They bring in their most successful (read: highest $ earning) Teachable instructors to give you actionable tips on how to make money on their platform, no fluff.
If you’re reading this blog post, it’s probably because the Pixistock images I used to create the social media graphics caught your eye.
Pixistock has a graphics library of over 2000 chic, gorgeous stock photos that are perfect for entrepreneurs.
Pixistock’s annual membership is usually $199. For Black Friday, it’s a whopping 40%off! That’s right, it’s $119.
Plus if you join now, you get a FREE custom lead magnet graphics bundle!
Pixistock is a stock images site that goes beyond what some of the other sites can do. When you sign up for a Pixistock annual or lifetime membership, the site owner, Alicia, gets your brand colors so that she can create a bundle of stock images just for you.
But you don’t even need to wait for those.
I’m a huge fan of Pixistock’s work, as you can tell. Check it out and you will be too. The discounted annual and lifetime memberships are on sale until November 27, 2018.
But not everybody makes getting these clients their first priority.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to coaches and freelancers who wanted to grow their business, but before they even have a steady pool of clients they’re paying out of pocket for a new website and a logo and a bunch of other things that aren’t going to bring them any money in return.
Does that sound familiar to you?
Your beautiful website is important, and a logo that communicates your message is a helpful tool to have, but none of these things will get you paying clients.
Wouldn’t it be better to have paying clients before you have to dish out money for that expensive website and for a logo designer?
There are six steps to getting clients online before you even have a website.
These steps are also know as a Sales Funnel, but that sounds so impersonal.
Step 1 Start with the Destination in Mind
Identify your main offering.
What action do you want clients to take with you? Do you want them to book your coaching package or buy your course or sign up for your monthly membership site?
The first step to gaining clients online is being clear about what action you want these clients to take.
If you’re not sure what the path is, or if you have multiple paths, it’s time to get specific.
Sometimes I visit coaches’ websites and I have no idea where to go. They’re offering coaching packages; they’re offering online courses; they’re offering small group coaching. But I don’t know how to identify which is right for me. I’m new to their world.
It’s fine to have multiple offerings, but you need to clearly communicate what your MAIN offering is. Imagine these prospective clients standing on a dirt road. Now imagine the road branches off in eight different directions. How does this client know which road to take?
When your website just throws out every thing that you offer — speaking, consulting, coaching, books — it’s overwhelming. And we know that the response to overwhelm is to do nothing. If people have too many choices, they chose “none of the above.”
It’s your job to make the right choice for them. Put a sign on the road that says “Destination” with an arrow pointing them in the right direction.
So if you’re a health coach you might offer meal prep plans and 1-on-1 coaching and a course on vegan living. But you know that your schedule won’t handle many more 1-on-1 clients, so you want to lead people down the online course path.
That doesn’t mean you never mention the meal prep plans or the coaching by the way, but your main marketing and promotion, and your sales funnel, will be for your online courses.
Now you know what your main offering is, so your next steps are to get them moving in that direction.
If you have multiple offerings, pick one to focus on.
Being in the opposite situation is also a problem.
If you have no main offering for clients yet, it’s time to decide. You don’t have to have this course or package complete before you start getting new clients, but you have to know where you’re taking them.
It’s like having a client on that dirt road, but this time it’s a dead end.
It’s okay to build the road just a few feet ahead of where the client is currently walking.
Then outline what the main package will include. And keep referring to that information for the rest of these steps.
It’s very difficult to get people to go on a journey with you if you don’t tell them where the final destination is.
So it’s time for you to get clear about your main product or service.
Step 2 Note the Landmarks
You know the client’s future destination, now give them clues that your road is the right way.
Break out a small piece of your main service or product as a lead magnet to get new clients.
A lead magnet (or an opt-in) is a freebie you offer to potential clients in exchange for their email or other contact info. People join your email list to get your lead magnet.
You don’t have to create a lead magnet that’s totally separate from your main course or coaching package.
In fact, a lot of coaches run into trouble when they create a lead magnet and then find out that it’s not directly related to the final offering and so it doesn’t lead their potential clients down the right path.
Your lead magnet should be a goal post on the way to the final destination.
It should attract the right clients and repel the wrong ones.
If your monthly membership site is about book marketing for self published authors, but your lead magnet is a fun quiz like “Which Harry Potter Character Are You?” you’ll end up with the email addresses of a bunch of people who love Harry Potter, but don’t care at all about book marketing. Either they won’t buy or, even worse, they will buy and they’ll be unhappy and saddle you with negative reviews. It’s easier to sell a course with no reviews than a course with BAD reviews.
The best way to make sure that your lead magnet attracts the right people is to break off a small piece of your main offering — one module of your course or one piece of your coaching package — and use that as your lead magnet.
You’ve saved yourself from having to make an entirely new piece of content, and you already know it’s relevant.
But where do you put this lead magnet if you don’t have a website yet?
Email service provider. I use MailerLite as my email service provider, and landing pages are included in the service.
Once you buy a domain name, sign up for a MailerLite (or other email provider) account. Then use them to build your landing page. On the landing page, you’ll have a “Click Here” box where people will enter their email address to get your lead magnet, which will be stored somewhere free, like as a Google Doc or in Dropbox.
Time to offer up your lead magnet to your audience.
Put links to your lead magnet’s landing page EVERYWHERE. In your social media bios. In your social media posts. Create pins for Pinterest. Post it on LinkedIn. Link to it in blog posts. Share it in Facebook groups (when allowed.)
Once you’ve started collecting relevant email addresses, stay in contact with your new subscribers.
Let them know that you’ll email them weekly or twice a month with helpful information. Keep these new leads warm by staying in touch with info they’ll enjoy.
Don’t go for the big sale right away.
Nurture the new leads with an email campaign that let’s them get to know you before you propose.
Step 4 Put Up Signs on Other Roads
Gain access to other audiences.
You may have seen some scary statistics about conversion rates for coaches and consultants. Some people email their list of thousands of people and get an open rate of 10%. Then 10% of the people who opened the email click through to accept the offer.
It’s because they’ve built an audience of people who don’t want to hear what they have to say.
One of the answers to this is to get more of the right people onto your list. You don’t have to start building a new list from scratch; you can leverage other people’s existing audiences to grow your own audience.
When it comes to reaching new followers, nothing moves the needle today like being a guest on podcast.
Podcast have very targeted audiences. Certain podcasts are very niche and reach the exact audience you serve.
So if your ideal clients are millennial women launching a new creative business, then being a guest on a podcast that speaks to these women will help you grow your list.
Pitch these podcasts to be a guest. Let them know what knowledge you can provide specifically to their audience.
When you appear as a guest on the podcast, you offer your lead magnet to their listeners.
Most podcast hosts would be more than happy to allow you to give away a freebie to their listeners as long as you’ve arranged it beforehand. Sometimes they’ll post your freebie on their own site with a link at the bottom to allow the podcast listener to join your email list. Other times you can give listeners the direct link to your landing page.
Step 5 Build an On-Ramp
The smoothest transition from email subscriber to paying client is a webinar.
Yes, we spent a couple of steps on the lead magnet, but don’t forget about our actual destination.
Getting people on your list is good. But converting them to paying clients is the ultimate goal.
Hosting a webinar gives you the opportunity to showcase your knowledge and glowing testimonials, then pitch your larger package to potential clients.
Webinars might sound scary, but really they're just a way for you to talk to your potential clients and let them get a feel for your coaching style to see if you're a good match for them.
Your webinar should follow up where your lead magnet ended.
So if your main offer is a matchmaking service, and your lead magnet is a quiz on how to determine if you’re ready for a relationship, then your webinar could be on how to prepare yourself for a loving, fruitful relationship.
Let me put this another way: Your lead magnet should help them identify a problem. Your webinar should let them know what the steps are to take to fix the problem. And your main offering, which was your product or service, should give them the “how-to” instruction to fix the problem.
Step 6 Drive On!
You’re road is built. Take it from dirt road to major highway with automation!
Automation. That word sounds scary and like you’ll need some technical knowledge and maybe (gasp!) a website.
ClickFunnels is an entire system that helps you automate your lead magnets, email campaigns and webinars into one workflow, or funnel, that functions even when you aren’t working on your business.
You’ve heard the Warren Buffet quote:
“If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”
Well ClickFunnels is the solution to this. You won’t have to manually send out emails or keep track of where individual prospective clients are in the above steps.
I walked you through the non-ClickFunnels process for setting up your lead magnet in Step 2 because it’s the less expensive option. After the 14 day free trial, ClickFunnels starts at $97 per month.
Depending on the price of your main offer, it may be an investment worth making. Would 1 new client a month more than pay for the service? It’ll give you more time to do client work and less time building email campaigns and writing webinar scripts.
Whether you use ClickFunnels from the start or add in automation down the road, you’ll need a system to keep the sales flowing.
Identify your main offering.
Break out a small part of the main product or service into a free lead magnet.
Offer the lead magnet to your audience.
Gain access to other relevant audiences.
Pitch your main offering to your leads in a webinar.
Voilà! You’ve got yourself a sales funnel!
Don’t worry, I’ve got a free checklist for you that’ll walk you through the new client sales funnel process step-by-step.
The Sales Funnels Simplified checklist walks you through the six steps to getting new clients for your business.
In 15 minutes you’ll have your sales funnel mapped out, and you’ll know where to go to complete each step.
And don’t forget, if you’d like me to do the steps for you, from creating your lead magnet, to sharing it with your audience, to getting you booked as a podcast guest, all you have to do is fill out the form below to set up a free 30 minute call with me.
I hope to hear from you soon!
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click a link I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks. 😉
Take your writing to the next level with writing advice from the greats.
There’s no need to start from scratch when it comes to writing. The very writers whose careers we admire have given us some great advice.
Learn to develop the habit of writing. Writing is a craft more than it is a talent. You develop into a good writer by developing a writing habit.Octavia Butler put it best:“First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.”
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
And Read A Lot! Anne Lamott in Bird By Bird says “Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. “”
Then FINISH the book.
Neil Gaiman hasn’t written a book about being a writer, but he has written at least 29 books(!), so he knows something about how to get writing done.
“How do you do it? You do it. You write. You finish what you write.”
If you’ve been working on the same story for years and you don’t see a way out, ask yourself, “What would Neil do?”
The way to write better books isn’t to work on 1 book for 8 years. Maybe it’s to write 8 books, getting better with each.
Now Some READING Advice:
Listening to audiobooks isn’t cheating, I promise! I love that I can listen to audiobooks while I’m driving or taking a walk. And they’re great for both fiction and nonfiction.
Some fiction books are read by voice actors who really bring the performance to life. American Gods is AMAZING to listen to! And most of the time the author reads their own nonfiction audiobook and adds in some interesting asides that didn’t make it into the book’s print version.
So give Audiobooks a try with the free offer from Audible below:
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click a link I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks.
5 Best Book Marketing Podcasts for Writers
These 5 podcasts are my go-to picks on book marketing for writers. With these podcasts you’ll get a solid mix of information and entertainment. And the hosts of these shows write both fiction and nonfiction, so no matter what you write, they’ll help you sell more books.
I’m a podcast junkie. If I find an informative podcast, I binge-listen. Then when I hear a podcast guest I like, I look for other shows where they’ve been a guest, and I’ll probably subscribe to them too. That’s how I found most of these.
If I don’t listen to any other podcast in a week, I listen to The Creative Penn. Joanna Penn is a fiction and nonfiction author who has self published and traditionally published. And she knows her stuff.
Since she’s the queen of book marketing podcasting, she gets top-tier guests, but her solo podcasts are just as enlightening.
Dave Chesson is the founder of Kindlepreneur.com, a super-useful Kindle e-book marketing website, and the creator of KDP Rocket, the book marketing tool of my DREAMS. So listening to his podcast is a no-brainer. Dave and his guest will teach you all about Amazon categories, keyword mastery and nailing your book cover.
With Dave Chesson’s product, KDP Rocket, you can see how many searches are being made on Amazon for any search term AND how much money books in your niche are making. Use this information even before you start writing to make sure your book will have an audience.
KDP Rocket also helps you maximize you book listing and Kindle ranking to make sure readers who are searching in your niche will find your book. The right categories and keywords make your book more discoverable.
So you see how this show can enlighten your book marketing path. My favorite recent podcast episode from the Book Marketing Show is Reviving a Dead Book (Case Study #1). If your book’s already published, tips from this series will help you breath new life into it. And if it’s not published yet, you’ll learn some what-not-to-do’s.
The SPA Girls are a HOOT. This podcast is a relaxed, laid back conversation with four funny friends who know their book marketing stuff. The hosts speak from their own author experiences with good guests mixed in.
My favorite recent episode is 5 Branding Tips You Can Use Right Now. They discuss what other writers are doing to build their brand and attract raving fans. But you can jump into their show on any episode for tips and laughs.
I’m pretty sure Jeff Goins is traditionally published, but you’d think he was an indie the way he markets his butt off. (I mean this in the best possible way.) His message to writers is to start by building your tribe of readers and helping them through your writing. Then you’ll have buyers when your book is released.
Book marketing isn’t Jeff’s sole focus; his show aims to help writers create a complete writing life. But his advice on building an author platform is GOLD.
Jeff Goins’ recent nonfiction book Real Artists Don’t Starve aims to kill the myth of the starving artist. It’s never been easier to make a living from your art, and it turns out it wasn’t impossible for historical artists either.
Shelley began as a nonfiction author in the inspirational and faith space. She wrote Broken Crayons Still Color. So it’s no accident that her podcast is full of thoughtful guidance with actionable steps mixed in.
Shelley gave her listeners a serious insider tip on this episode. She explained that CreateSpace books aren’t eligible for distribution to most bookstores. But publishing your paperback and/or hardback version with IngramSparks puts your book in the IngramSpark catalog with the potential to be ordered by bookstores.
This is the first time I’ve heard this tip, and it means a writer can put their e-book in the Kindle Unlimited space and get paid per page read while still selling their print book elsewhere. Listen to Shelley’s podcast episode for the tea on how she mixes publishers to her benefit.
“‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert is a celebration of a creative life. That doesn’t mean (just) painting or writing but encompasses something larger: a worldview that extols the pursuit of any activity that takes you out of yourself and opens you to the experience of wonder and joy.” — Jennifer Reese
“Are you a painter, a writer, a start-up founder or a cabinet maker? Wondering how to avoid not paying the rent while you pursue your craft? Well, that’s where Jeff Goins’ Real Artists Don’t Starve comes in. The book offers 12 strategies to create your art, promote your art and make money from your art — no matter what it may be.” — Tree Franklin
“I would recommend this book: Unlocking Potential: 7 Coaching Skills That Transform Individuals, Teams, and Organizations by Michael K. Simpson to managers, leaders and aspiring-to-be leaders. Be sure to take note of those important techniques and strategies mentioned. It’ll be very useful for future reference.” — Gladys Jane
“Rhimes is, unsurprisingly, a fantastic memoirist: Her writing is conversational and witty and lyrical, inflected with the supple human breathiness you might expect from a person who spends her days writing dialogue. [It] is in many ways a side door self help book…[with] pieces of advice that concern not just Rhimes’s readers, but everyone. …Year of Yes is a book about the shifts taking place in Hollywood right now. It is, like Shondaland itself, making a statement. It is insisting that it is time for the people who used to be invisible to come forward and be seen.” — Megan Garber
“I love Michael Bungay Stanier’s The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever. Instead of being the person with all the answers, learn how to be a coach—and a good one at that. Because your people have Google to find answers, you can give them what they really need. 1. Someone to ask them well-designed questions that get them into problem-solving mode. 2. A good set of ears that provides them with a much-needed blank canvas to make sense of their thoughts.” — Shawn Vanderhoven
“Laying out a roadmap for change, the author includes chapters on eliminating blame and shame from work and education, and daring to be the adults we want our children to be. Brown’s theories—complete with personal and not always flattering examples from her own life—will draw readers in and have them considering what steps they would dare to take if shame and fear were not present.” — Publisher Weekly
“It is hard to locate self help books written by people of color. Many involve lengthy exercises, but the simplicity and effectiveness of these mantras help one to stay the course and maintain the practice of meditating beyond the 30 days. When you fall of your practice, pick the book back up and start again. You will gain new insight as you are not the same person. I suggest this as a gift to young people and and anyone you love as everyone could benefit from it.” — Kaiyah F
“Iyanla Vanzant offers a unique spiritual technology called “thought therapy,” a process that harnesses proven spiritual tools with the science of neuroplasticity. The 42 prayers and affirmations in Get Over It! and complementary energy-clearing tools at the heart of the thought therapy process are designed to neutralize and eliminate the unconscious, unproductive, soul-destroying dominant negative thought patterns (DNTPs) and discordant emotional energies, allowing you to get to the root cause of your personal suffering, and make life-affirming choices.” — Hay House Publishing
“Tim Brown’s book has blessed me tremendously…I don’t know of a better guy who’s more committed to doing things in a Godly manner for the sake of others, particularly as it relates to young boys. He has a great heart and passion and a gift for challenging, inspiring and shaping boys into men.” — Clark Kellogg
“At its core, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a book about finding what’s truly important to you and letting go of everything else. More than a practical guidebook to choosing what’s important in our lives and what’s unimportant, it’s a brutally honest and much needed reality check about our personal problems, fears and expectations. It’s a bold confrontation of self, our painful truths, faults and uncertainties, without all the positive airy fairy fluff we’ve been spoon-fed to believe by self-help gurus.” — Tree Franklin
“This book by Pete Hollins teaches you how to really learn in an accelerated manner. It’s how to process info, condense it, make it stick, and use it.
The Science of Accelerated Learning starts with shaping our mindsets to be geared for learning, fertile. Then he tells us the three types of factors that can make or break us. It was a great breakdown and the further breakdowns at the end of each chapter with the takeaways were priceless.” — Reviewer
Each of these books was written by a writer who saw a gap on their bookshelf and filled it. If you want to take your expertise and write the book your audience needs and are feeling unsure about where to start, I have a free worksheet that will help you focus your message.
Get started on these personal development books right away! Click here for 2 free audiobooks from Audible.
As a freelance writer, I’m in a ton of Facebook groups where we share our Facebook page links. And I’ve found a few prospective clients that way.
Usually, the group administrator will create a weekly post asking everyone to share a link to their business. These link-shares are a great way for freelancers, coaches and speakers to get found by new clients.
But all too often the links people share are missing pertinent information. And sometimes I get on the prospect’s FB page and hit a dead end.
They’re a coach, but there’s no clear way to connect with them further.
Remember, your potential clients may need several points of contact with you before hiring you. And Facebook pages aren’t the most direct communication route. So make sure your Facebook page leads them to other ways they can connect with you as well.
Help clients find you!
Here are a few tips to take your coaching Facebook Page from dead end to expressway:
1. If your biz name / Facebook Page name doesn’t clearly state what you do, add it. “Social Stephanie” isn’t as helpful as “Social Stephanie: Freelance writer”. Any Facebook page for coaches, consultants and speakers should include the specifics like “Personal Finance Coach” or “Women’s Empowerment Speaker.”
2. Make your Page’s cover pic informative. Include your biz name, what you do and contact info for a better preview. If people are scrolling through a post of 100+ links, make it easy to find what they’re looking for.
With this method, when you post your link in a comment, your full cover image, which appears when someone hovers over the link, will give enough detail to entice your prospective clients to click. And they won’t have to dig for information.
3. Include links to your other social media profiles in your About section. Facebook’s default setting gives you space for your website and email address. To add Twitter (if you choose) and LinkedIn (always!) just edit your contact info and click the “add account” button.
LinkedIn and Twitter are my faves, so I always connect with people through their links. If your Instagram is personal pics only, it’s ok to skip it. But I’d urge anyone in a visual business, like design consultants, to link your Instagram too.
4. Make sure to include your email address also. I know this seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many coaches forget to add their contact info or website link to their page. Dead end city.
5. Include your Twitter feed. Are you dropping gems on Twitter that your potential clients should see? You can add a Twitter or Instagram app on Facebook that displays your timeline and a “follow” button right on your FB page. I like this as a method to “show your work.”