For high achievers and creatives with a desire to launch an online service/product that rocks and attracts dream clients. This post is 13,000+ words long! I recommend you download the entire thing as a FREE PDF. Simply tell me what your email address is and I'll send you this ENTIRE post PLUS a checklist with all the steps to take to earn your extra $1,000+...FREE! :)
All links contain ZERO affiliate links btw!
In 2011, I started writing online. I created my first blog on WordPress and talked about anything and everything. My blog was called Worship & Swag where I talked about the intersection of faith and culture. I didn't have an audience in mind at the time; I just wanted to write. Slowly and steadily, I amassed followers and "likers" in tens and hundreds. And like a moth to a flame, I became obsessed about personal development and digital marketing.
I learned so much about creating online products and services, positioning them in the marketplace for target buyers, and writing sales messages to make the money come in. I failed (a lot!!!) and in the process, I learned the trick to figuring out what people want to buy.
And you oughta be obsessed too! I'll tell you why.
But first, let me ask you this question:
Do you know that there is a new and emerging market, a market where you can't only rely on your day/eve/night job to survive; a market that demands full use of your dormant skills in other to live the lifestyle of your dreams; a market that screams YES to you getting paid honest money by working flexible hours from your home...on your laptop?
Like, yes, you can be a medical doctor, registered nurse (me too!), an accountant, a carpenter, school teacher, hairdresser...a stripper even, yet you can still make money doing honest business online. Not bitcoin, not network marketing. Just your skills and knowledge.
Relying on just one source of income is a risky thing.
Kids gotta eat, wear good clothes, go to good schools, get laptops and phones. You need a house to raise them in. You need a car to go to and from work. Oops, tires exploded on the highway. You need to get them fixed. You are out sick for 3 weeks. Your spouse missed your paycheck for that month. When you finally go back to work, there's word that the department is downsizing and that you might be affected. That's not all: there are bills and loans that you need to pay off so that you can actually enjoy making money.
Too much pressure...but not for long. There is a solution to this.
And the good thing is that you don't really have to quit your day/eve/night job (if you love it). You just need to earn more each month.
Again, if you love your job and don't want to quit, you don't have to. Tell your neighbor or those internet marketers Margaret said so (and a lot of other entrepreneurs agree)!
So, no, I'm not singing the "quit your day job anthem." That's a decision that you and only YOU gets to make.
I'm a writer and here's how this works for me: readers find me from the web, podcast interviews, or articles written on other websites. Then they opt into my email newsletter where I share valuable content and promote my services.
I earned my first $7 from an ebook I sold on Amazon to college graduates back in 2015. I now cringe when I refer to the book but, boy, I was elated...overjoyed that I'd earned money from my own skill.
Now, imagine my face when I received a $400 deposit to write a sales page for an online program.
Also, imagine my face when I funded my family's 2-3 day, all expense paid stay at a hotel in Wisconsin Dells last year...without wincing in pain from buyer's remorse. Barely even touching my paycheck! My brother and his girlfriend even joined at the last minute (sorry bro) and I was able to get reservations for them. And I wore a knowing smirk throughout the payment process.
All I sold were my writing and research skills: learning what the market wants and converting that into a sales page.
But I'm not the only one doing this. Over the years, I have worked with several high achievers like you.
Meet some of my previous clients:
+ Cassie, a 23yr old Nigerian fashion blogger plus Medical Doctor created a blog planner and a blog consulting offer. Last year, she made her first 6 figures from a single collaboration.
+ Kriselle went from being talented yet confused about what audience to serve...to following her heart and getting her Kickstarter fully funded...even getting a shoutout from Kickstarter as a "Project we love."
+ Elizenda, a high-performing HR professional became clear about who she wanted to serve in her business 45 minutes, ending months of stress.
+ Lillian Okoye, entrepreneur and founder of Fluent in Five got accepted as a Huffington Post contributor after we reviewed her pitch and she submitted it.
Yes, the modern market is calling out to all high achievers and creatives (like you). You might be thinking: $1,000+ per month?! That's insane and ridiculous!
I'll teach you how.
It all starts with having a monetize-able skill. Aka you actually have to know how to do something that most people find challenging.
And here's the formula to make it work:
What you love + What you can do + What your selected audience is interested in.
It's doable and other people have made more than that per month. Well, let me explain:
Have a skill that comes easy to you but is difficult to learn right? You could offer your coaching and consulting services to your audience. In my case, I was a copywriter and I offered to write sales pages for $750-$1400.
Know how to design and create websites? Meghan Hartman-Gomez works a remote 9-5 as the marketing + communications designer for a SaaS company that she don't plan on leaving soon. Her words, not mine! And guess what? She designs some of the most ah-mazing Squarespace websites I've ever seen for her clients.
Are you a career junkie? You could help new graduates navigate the job search and interview process. My friend, Li Lin, is a TEDx speaker, career and business coach who helps immigrants get rich in the United States and has earned over $120,000 in the process. Offering her expertise on getting jobs/interviews is a huge part of what made it happen.
Have you lost a lot of weight and during the process you figured out something that could help thousands of women? This is knowledge that you could share and get paid for! Nagina Sethi Abdullah is a health & food coach for ambitious women. Using her strategy, she lost 40 pounds by eating delicious foods and wore a bikini comfortably for the first time AFTER having two kids!
How much you earn is totally up to you! Here's the math:
5 clients at $200/month = $1000.
2 clients at $500/month = $1000.
1 client = $1,000 or $2,000 or more!
So, maybe you're like, "Well, I'm not established. I have to ____ first before I launch myself!"
Well, remember my friend, Li Lin? She went from knowing how to speak ZERO English in America to teaching English as a second language. Before she became a business owner, she was a shitty employee who actually got fired from a sushi waitressing job on her first day. Her words, not mine (lol). But now she has helped 200+ (and counting!) immigrant professionals and international students make more money in America. Her clients have been able to land $100,000+ a year jobs at companies like eBay, Yelp, Chase, and other companies across the USA.
So, you don't have to be an "insane" guru to get started. I'll be the first to tell you that I haven't made 6-figures or anything and this is purely by design. Hey, freedom! But it is totally possible for you should you want it for yourself.
Also remember Nagina, the health and food coach for ambitious women?
She isn't a medical doctor. Neither is she a guru nurse who worked on an expert unit for 10+ years. Nagina worked in management consulting for a top 4 consulting firm in NYC, jumping on planes and trains to new locations, working 12+ hour days and staying in hotels for multiple nights of the week. All Nagina did was:
"Uh, I need to change something."
*discovers spices for losing weight and lost 10 pounds in 4 weeks, 40 pounds in 9 months.*
"Woah, I need to share this with ambitious women!" (My words, not hers.)
Now, Nagina has been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, TIME, People, Health magazines...and more! All by teaching people how to lose weight by using spices!
You get the point: you don't need to have 10 certifications before you can make money from what you know.
Okay, these people are already impressive. What about humble folks like *me*?
You don't need to wait until you become a multimillionaire before you get started. For example, if you have advanced training on business automation, you could consult with 6- or 7-figure entrepreneurs and share your skills!
Meet Mikli. Mikli is a extraordinarily talented project manager, retired virtual assistant to online entrepreneurs, and a single mother of an adorable 7 year old. When Mikli started online, she didn't think she had any monetize-able skill. But she started fielding questions like:
"Mikli, my developer bailed on me. How do I get my website up now? They were doing it pro bono, so I really don't have the money to hire another person!"
"Mikli, how do I....?"
She discovered that she was obsessed with solving puzzles, making sure that deadlines aren't missed, and tinkering with websites. Instead of becoming an entrepreneur who does "big" things, she offered to support them while she keeps their businesses running in the background.
But first, I value your your time. So let's figure out who this post will benefit so you don't waste yours.
This post is for you if:
You're a high achiever and are curious about how to use use your knowledge and skills to make an additional $1,000+ per month working with DREAM clients.
You have an idea to sell an online service/product online but you have no idea how to create/package it.
You know you have a gift to share with the world and want to be known as an expert in your chosen niche, an authority, without quitting your job (only if you love it). You want to embrace creative freedom.
You are open to investing in learning new skills and knowledge so that you can be current with what's up in digital marketing.
You want a life of freedom. More clients. More cash. More ability to choose how you spend your days.
You don't believe in get rich quick schemes. I know, hate those!
This post is not for you if:
You're cynical about learning honest ways to make money online and won't commit to working for what you want. Can't help you here. *shrugs*
You're looking for someone to teach you how to make 6 figures in 6 weeks. Noppity nope. Not me.
You're an advanced online entrepreneur who is making 6 figures and above. If this is you, I have other services for you. Send me a PM.
You don't want to learn additional ways to make more money because you're happy at your day job etc...This is absolutely okay, no judgement here!
This post is over 13,000 words! Here's why:
I can't help everyone. 1) It'd be ridiculous to think that. Reason: access to me is somewhat limited. So, 2) Hiring someone to help you figure this out on a 1:1 basis is very costly. In fact, most "business coaches" out there are charging up to $10,000 to help you figure this out. BUT I truly believe that everyone should have access to great, FREE content that transforms their lives. With this post, you get the blueprint that I use to work with most of my private clients.
By the way, have we met yet?
My name is Margaret Olat. I'm a registered nurse by night and writer by day. I help high achievers and creative online entrepreneurs uncover genius ideas, identify what to sell, and design their offers.
Over the last 7 years, my writing has been featured on Elephant Journal, TEDxLincolnSquare, Thought Catalog, Addicted2Success, Thrive Global, The Huffington Post, Career Contessa, UYD Media, Inspired COACH, and I’ve been mentioned by the likes of ProBlogger, Brit+Co, Minnesota State University Moorhead, and John Hopkins Alumni.
I've been called a de-clutterer, a "filter-er", and a designer by friends. My goal is to help you zone into your creative genius so that you can break the cycle of imposter syndrome, weak messaging, ineffective and leaky sales pages.
My clients have gone from having conflicted ideas to launching their consulting services, products, launching a Kickstarter for a podcast, and getting featured in big media outlets.
For over 12+ months, I worked behind-the-scenes of a successful coaching company in the UK. I went from transcribing webinar recordings to notes (and blog posts), being a content manager, to writing copy and speaking with interview guests.
We were successful, pulling in 5-figure months, and I had the honor of learning from so many visionaries! (My mentor is one of the most generous man on the planets that I know).
Yes, I had my eyes and hands on everything and had the sofa seat to strategy AND implementation. All while attending graduate school and working almost full time as a nursing technician.
But I've had my own share of "missed shots" too! Over 10K invested and here's how it went (in a nutshell).
2012: I wanted to become a millennial life coach so I jumped on a self-hosted WordPress wagon too soon.
I spent lots of money on web design when I didn’t have direction how I wanted to run my business.
I joined sponsorship brands which required me to put on makeup and post reviews. I once got a package from a well - known makeup company and because I didn’t screenshot my review before I submitted it, I lost the chance to earn the stars (??) for completing that stage.
2014: Then I decided to be a Church Leadership Specialist and hired a Top Business Strategist from the UK for 3 months (who later became my mentor).
I ordered 500 business cards off of a popular website because of discounts. I thought it would make me legit.
I rented a PO Box and registered my business as an LLC in the state of Minnesota. I thought it would make me more legit.
I bought several courses, webinar, and page-building software to help me launch. Here I started getting the feel that I might be falling out of love with being a church leadership specialist. But I didn't tell my mentor.
Yet I continued to run Facebook ads too!
2015: I realized that I had blown my financial aid package for Fall and Spring semester in 5 months.
Doubting the authenticity of the email, I checked my school account and found a bill for over $3,000.
Mid 2015: I pivoted to being a career coach and got published and mentioned in cool places like on The Huffington Post, Career Contessa, Minnesota State University Moorhead, etc.
Became a first-time author; published an ebook on amazon. Turned it into an e-course.
Got a second job as a nursing assistant at a hospital earning $18/hr.
But I hated reviewing resumes and my course launch bummed.
However, I enjoyed writing for different publications.
2016. My final year in nursing school. Worked with my mentor behind-the-scenes for Profit from Coaching.
No selling. Continued writing.
2017: Became a copywriter.
Got my first copywriting gig.
July 1st: Major, mind-numbing burnout. Quit copywriting and pulled all services off my page.
I continued writing despite my confusion.
I found "my thing" and validated an idea with testimonials before I created an offer.
I hired a thought transformational coach to help me get started (again) in 2018.
Started attracting media opportunities; podcast interviews, guest posts, etc.
Created this guide to share this knowledge with you.
The point is this: I've been where you are. I've worked for free and for pay. I've juggled content creation with school, family, and work. I know exactly what it takes to see your hard work pay off.
Why I'm writing this behemoth of a post...and making it FREE when I could charge for it.
A few months ago (during one of my several night shifts as a nurse), we were waiting for the next admit to roll in and I got bored. So I opened a web page and typed "how to make more money" to see what Google spat out.
The results were hilarious at best and eww at worst. I think one article told me to find my inner skill or talent...lol. Gosh I regret not taking a screenshot! Some articles give you long lists of what you could do but skip the how to part.
Drive Uber. (Not for me, too cold outside).
Be a tutor. (Honorable. But sometimes I can be prickly)
Work extra shifts. (Thanks, I already work a lot)
Sell cryptocurrency. (Uhm...okay. Bye!)
Give flu shots. (Did this last year for about 4 months. Too much work for little pay!)
Long story short, someone needs to have the real thing when they search "how to make more money" online. I created this guide because I got sick and tired of reading ridiculous posts that don't give you the "how to" part.
I got sick and tired of watching brilliant high achievers give up their dreams before they get started. I am sick and tired of watching you fail to reach an audience that needs your voice, your gift, and your offers. Sick and tired of watching you agonize over selling...because you think you aren't born with the gift.
Basically, I want you to profit from your purpose so that you can stop performing to an empty audience (and start enjoying the creative freedom you crave).
My goal for you with this post>>
Two goals. This is why this post is more practical than informational.
a) Lock in an idea for what you could offer for sale. This could be an online course, a service, a mastermind, a live in-person workshop, or really anything that you're ready to get money in return for.
b) Finally create this offer you have in your head (and launch it). When you have finally launched this offer to your audience, get on twitter or instagram and mention what you've got with the hashtag #ididitmyownway.
Now, real talk:
Do you want to sell your services, products, and make good money that supports your desired lifestyle?
There's a secret to getting potential clients to buy from you without resulting to pressure tactics that make you feel squeamish.
It's not in your promotion. It's not in your social media presence. It's not even in your branding or taglines.
It's a simple secret that has enabled successful entrepreneurs you see online trust cross the 6-figure sales mark.
Let me tell you a little bit about this “secret.” It is the easiest and most effective way to present any sales message online. Without it, your message is forgettable and your product will bomb. If you mess it up, it will be hard to sell a single product or service package even if you are the most expert guru online!
Monetizing your skill isn't the problem. Yes, you create a service/product online and then sell it.
It is the process of figuring out what people are willing to pay for that can be under-explained, complicated, and frankly...boring.
You're probably already frustrated because…
You don't know where to start...or how to start.
You know what people want...not whether they're willing to pay for it.
You're getting distracted and overwhelmed by everything that's available.
You LOVE what you do but have a hard time packaging your service or product so it aligns with your 'core' brand.
You’re tired of taking course after course promising you 5k or 6k months. What you need is someone to teach you how to position your offer without being sounding fake.
I hear you. And I feel you.
Now let me tell you something...
You don’t need to be a "guru" or an amazing writer to crack to code to figuring out what people want to buy.
The secret? Create an offer that the *right* people have a burning desire for AND are willing to pay for.
It's no longer enough to just "create an online service and sell it."
First, you need to define your DREAM audience so you can write for the RIGHT person. If you are not attracting the RIGHT audience for your products and coaching programs, your launches will flop...no matter how epic your website is.
Then, you need to know what they ALREADY know before you start selling them on stuff. If you aren’t taking prospects through verified paths of persuasion that are right for them, you will lose them faster than you attracted them.
BAM! It's that simple (but often not easy).
The thing is, most gurus don't teach you how to design an offer without first giving you their tried and tested templates to doing xyz. Or telling you why a promotion worked.
Yes, you could buy templates to do the work for you. Plug and play products reduce the time you spend on creating content, writing and sending emails. I should know because I sell them too. But what most people don't tell you is that whipping out templates is the last step in the process; you need more than tools and hacks to be successful. Attracting and engaging the RIGHT people is the first step to making more money online.
Now, here’s just a fraction of the mistakes most high achievers and creative online entrepreneurs make––I made them too
There are right and wrong ways to go about this and the mistakes are costly. Are you making these same mistakes?
1) Attracting the wrong audience. At one point, my readers were working adults yet I aggressively marketed an entry-level college graduate course to them. FAIL. This doesn't need further explanation.
If you want to work with busy moms, you have no business writing for college grads looking to learn how to pass interviews. Likewise, if you want to be a career coach for job seekers, you might not want to work with ALL college graduates; you might only want to specialize in working with nursing and medical students! If this is so, your messaging and content should call out who you're looking for: "career coach for nursing and medical students" instead of "career coach for college graduates."
2) Not validating a biz idea. I had a thriving lifestyle blog with 200+ followers. Then I went "oh, let's convert my blog into a faith magazine!" All because I was interested in having multiple contributors on my blog and wanted to realize my dream of being a magazine publisher. FAIL.
Whenever you want to launch something new––pivots or big changes you make in your business, there needs to be some sort of confirmation that your audience remotely wants this thing. Otherwise you'll find yourself launching to crickets.
3) Creating the wrong lead magnet. I then created a lead magnet called "How to be a productive church worker." Except, most of the people who were on my list weren't there for that: they were bloggers. FAIL. #facepalm
A leaf magnet is like an ethical bribe like: "enter your email here and I'll send you a free video on how to edit videos on your smartphone." You not only need to to have a lead magnet that will entice readers to join your community and/or movement, you need to make sure it is aligned to whatever it is they want. When you create the wrong lead magnet, you attract the wrong crowd who only leave in annoyance when they see that your message is not consistent with your freebie!
4) Marketing to the wrong market. I took the ebook I created for entry-level college graduates to the wrong audience: folks who wanted to hack learning in the classroom. Then ran away from marketing it because someone thought it sounded cheesy. FAIL.
Then I created an entire e-course with graphics and sales page just to soothe my ego (to prove I know what I'm talking about...I'm not cheesy!). Double FAIL. I'm not lying 😭
When the offer-market fit is wrong, you will have a hard time selling whatever it is that you sell.
5) Providing "value" in Facebook groups.
This one is weird...but it's true. Stop providing "value."
When it comes to selling from Facebook groups, there is one person I turn to for advice and that is Victor Ekpo Bassey, personal branding and community mastery expert. Victor's Facebook group is filled with over 3,000+ insanely engaged people! According to Victor:
It's not about a battalion of content. It's not about the person that posts the most content. It's about the depth and quality of the conversations that you facilitate. Discussions that touch on the things that really matter to people. That is what people consider as value. You get a general sense of what happens in the marketplace. When you get this, you can now talk to them in an emotional language that connects with them. Why? Because you know them, and you've been connecting with them.
So, forget about turning Facebook groups into lecture halls. It's about drawing people to talk about what THEY WANT to talk about.
Now, you may run off and believe all you need to do is create a website and start writing. Then you'll crate your coaching packages, online courses, and whatever your want to offer.
Don't launch stuff blindly into the web hoping people will buy on auto. It stopped working that way years ago.
The clients you wanna work with? They are no longer sold on formulas. They have become smarter web users.
Yes, they buy based on emotions. But then, they justify their purchases based on logic! They want you to tell them why you think they need YOUR solutions instead of Mr. Wakanda's.
Most of them are now buying copywriting products just so that they can think like copywriters when reading your sales pages.
Simply put: Don't waste your time nurturing and selling to the wrong person. If you want to make money from your creative biz, you need to attract + engage with the RIGHT person from the very beginning.
Don't worry, there are those who are willing and able to pay you $$$$ but…
...how do you market your products and services to your desired audience without losing your brand voice?
Here's what you get in this ultimate guide
In 5 core steps, you will learn how to: (click each step to expand)
Step 1: Define your dream audience.
Right away, you’ll learn exactly where to START from.
- The #1 thing you need to know before you write your sales page.
- Building your dream client profile IF you already have a list.
- Why posting lengthy survey questions and asking "will you buy my product does not work (and what you should do instead).
- The newer and better way to build a dream client profile.
- How to build an audience if you are starting from ground zero.
Step 2: Attract your dream client.
Next, I’ll explain the 4 types of clients you should be attracting. This is the secret to getting paid! Your primary biz goal is to be profitable.
- The 4 types of clients you should be attracting.
- Identify who REALLY needs your offer and wants to cut in front of the line to get it.
- What to do if your dream client is aware of her problems but undecided.
Step 3: Determine the best offer.
Can't think of what to offer? This section covers everything you need to know about creating your first product.
- What an offer is.
- The 3 things you need to have to create an offer that people are willing to buy.
- Now that I know what my audience wants, how do I validate my offer?
- Why you need to price your products and services well (even if your skills come easy to you).
Step 4: Assess their current knowledge.
Ready to attract and persuade with your sales copy? Section 4 gives you the keys to moving your reader from "I'm interested" to "Where do I sign up?
- Learn how to qualify your dream client on the client-awareness spectrum.
- Learn how to use what your dream client already knows to build your sales copy.
- Learn what a lead is and what type of lead is best to approach your dream client.
Write and structure your sales page.
Finally, I’ll reveal exactly how to put all these together. Great sales pages aren't written from scratch. They are structured, arranged, and presented.
- Learn how to effectively "arrange" your words for maximum impact.
- Learn how to use my proven 7 Ps to take buyers on an emotional journey that makes them want to join your programs.
Ya ready to roll?
Alright, let's dig in.
Note: This post is very long. Don't have time to read the entire guide? I recommend you download the entire thing as a FREE PDF. Simply tell me what your email address is and I'll send you this ENTIRE post PLUS a checklist with all the steps to take to earn your extra $1,000+...FREE! :)
Step 1: How to define your DREAM audience
As you begin to spend your time creating massive goals and buying several courses, it is easy to get sucked into the fast and furious mode of implementation in order to break 5-and 6-figures.
Your newfound direction is sooo lucrative that you can't wait to introduce this service, product, or venture to the internet.
You're throwing everything at the wall hoping something will stick, attending EVERY webinar and free workshop there is.
However...there is one thing you need to know before everything else.
...before you create a sales page that outlines what you sell.
...before you throw that new bonus to your course.
And that is…
Know thy prospect. AKA pick one audience and KNOW them WELL (!!)
You just need to speak with one person, one audience for starters. I promise you.
A HUGE mistake people make when I ask them what they want to do is saying, "Oh, this is for everyone. I want so many people to see it and be helped!"
Yes, you want to be a resource on how to lose weight because you've cracked the code to weight loss. However, targeting everyone will make your messaging and positioning weak. You can always pivot to a different market but when you are starting out, you need to focus on one audience and one problem.
For example: busy moms (audience) and losing weight (problem).
There's a reason for this. And here's why:
You honestly can't position yourself as "THE ONE" for EVERYONE. This is even better: there are certain people who would love to pay premium price so that you can help them. But before you write a single line of sales copy, before you ask or beg people to pay attention to you, you need to know EXACTLY what they need and WHY they are coming to you. Sounds simple...and it really is.
Get super intimate with them. Know their problems more than they themselves know 'em. In fact, you need to understand how product-aware they are. Because the more aware clients are, the more willing they are to invest in your solutions.
If you are reading this and thinking now is the time to whip out your "ideal client profile exercise" and furiously start data mining...I won't stop you.
But let me ask you a question:
Do you already have an engaged list of *buyers*? Yes? Go ahead with your data mining.
Are you just starting out as a online business owner? Yes? Skip the surveys and data mining. I'll explain later.
Building your dream client profile IF you already have an engaged list.
Meet Hannah, a copywriter. Hanna creates copywriting products and templates for female online entrepreneurs in the coaching space. But Hanna wants to really sweeten the deal by offering something her ideal clients would desire most. She thought long and hard, wanting to know where she's making the most impact and with whom. In her dream, her ideal clients aren't just entrepreneurs who want to have nice-looking sales pages.
So, Hanna sent out a survey several weeks ago to her email list to know what they're struggling with. Not just that, she wanted to know how they feel about writing their sales copy because this is important to her.
In comes the need for a DREAM client profile aka "niching down."
Note: She already has an audience. She isn't asking people on Facebook about whether they would buy product A or product B. If you are not Hannah, don't get stuck on doing research. This is not the time!
So, from the survey, Hannah was able to gather the following:
A successful online female entrepreneur who enjoys 5k and 6k launches.
A successful online entrepreneur who understands the value of a winning sales copy.
A successful online entrepreneur who would rather hire someone to write her copy for her than spend time learning new strategies and concepts.
A successful online entrepreneur who is ready to commit to a successful partnership with her copywriter.
Surprisingly, most of them are health coaches. A-ha!
Hannah gets her survey results back and is happy to know that these people want her to write for them instead of teaching them how to write. She also discovered that, wait a minute; most of them are in the health coaching space. She is happy about this discovery so she sets out to launch a private 'work-with-me' offer, a monthly-retainer offer, and is considering something specific for health coaches!
Let’s pause and I'll explain.
Because Hannah already has a list of **engaged buyers**, she's able to survey them to know that she has a knack for helping health coaches. And she knows how they feel about writing their own copy so that she can upgrade them to a higher service. She knows that they get the value of sales pages, can possibly write one themselves, but are SICK and TIRED of doing this because they could be working in their zone of genius: running their business(es).
Now if she's truly curious and needs the data, she can ask them what country, city, street, and town they come from. Or how old they are.
So, non-Hannahs, if I'm begging you not to slave away filling out lengthy ideal client exercises that ask you where people live (unless your business is inherent on the data).
Why filling out lengthy survey questions and asking "Will you buy my course for $20" does not work.
Nothing wrong with focusing on demographics. But...people do not necessarily know what they need until you tell them.
Asking people where they live and how much they make, what degrees they have, what magazines they read won't do the work for you. Even worse is asking people "what are you struggling with?"
Here's why and the answer is simple: No one wants to look like they don't have their shit together. Responses will be scripted or edited.
I may tell you I want a new website when all I truly need is to know how to generate clients. That lady you see that seems interested in buying the latest fashion items and following the latest diet fad? Maybe what she TRULY wants is to be able to learn how to communicate with her husband so that she feels loved, accepted, and desired by her partner. If you ask her what she's struggling with, she might say she needs to learn how to dress better to attract the "favor" of her husband.
Pay attention to the nuance here. What she truly wants is to feel loved, accepted, and desired by her partner. What she's telling you is that she wants to learn how to dress better to attract her partner's favor. One offer speaks to the real pain that is deeply troubling her. While the other offer is created around what you think she needs.
People have desires and needs that they want fulfilled. But they have a hard time being honest with want they TRULY WANT. Learning how to figure out what people want will help you better position your offer so people can jump on it. A follow up question to the above is "If you haven't done XYZ, why?" or "What would change for you if you had XYZ?"
So, demographic data doesn't give you information about the psychology behind a person's buying habits or the emotional factors that affect each purchase.
The newer and better way to build a dream client profile.
Enter psychographics. If you spend more time on psychographics, you won't sweat how to figure out what people want to buy so that you can offer it for sale.
First, you pick your audience and plug in light demographic details. Meaning, if you're going to be working with women who are dealing with divorce, it's important to know that. But spend more time on psychographics. With psychographics, you’re digging into their prejudices, opinions, dreams, and fears. You’re peeling away several layers of human skin so that you can get to what makes them really tick.
You're basically answering these unspoken (sometimes, spoken) questions:
What is [audience] biggest and burning desire?
Why do they want this thing?
What makes [audience] buy stuff?
What is the number one fear [audience] has when it comes to not having this thing _____?
What beliefs need to change for [audience] to buy ___ ?
How can I create this belief for [audience] to buy ___?"
When you get this part, selling becomes way easier because you no longer have to "convince" prospects to pick me, pick me, pick me!
Because purchases are very emotional, getting real about the problems folks have and how motivated they are in solving them is very key. Again, filling out tons of demographic workbooks ain't gonna do the work!
Here's where you say: "But Margaret, I need to define my DREAM client and I don't have an audience yet!"
Here's how to build an audience if you are starting from ground zero.
This is fixable. Simply...
Pick an audience. Then, engage in conversations that your dream clients are already having. Finding your super niche comes later (for real).
Most times, your dream clients have already started looking for solutions to their problems in the marketplace. The new mom who wants to lose her baby fat has been watching some YouTube videos or joining Facebook groups. Forums on Reddit have several folks looking for how to work the camera on the latest smart phone. Amazon reviews contain happy customers still feeling wistful about what they would've loved to gain from a particular product.
This is where how you attract them comes to play: Pick an audience and write for them. Create incredible content.
Let's say you want to work with busy moms. What problems are busy moms actively looking for solutions to? *whispers hypothetical answer* Busy moms want to learn how to lose weight without going to the gym.
Okay. Can you come up with 3 blog posts that contain answers to the most burning questions they have? Excellent! From their responses and the growing engagement, you can now determine what pressing/burning desires they have and want a solution to right now.
It's okay to fail here, you're still in the testing period. If the topic doesn't interest your audience, find another problem to solve. For example: busy moms (audience) and cooking easy meals (problem). Don't get locked into a niche if it isn't working out for you!
Again, an awful way to build an audience is by filling out ideal client exercises that ask about ages, location, sex, etc (unless, your business is contingent upon this info).
Are you gaining traction with your audience and speaking with folks who might convert to buyers? Now you're ready to "find" your niche.
According to business coach for top performers, Primoz Bozic, finding your perfect niche takes months and months of planning.
Primoz didn't start his business by working exclusively with online entrepreneurs. His very first coaching business was teaching productivity to online poker players. Then he pivoted to productivity for executives and entrepreneurs. Now, he helps entrepreneurs get known and get paid by creating remarkable content in a format known as 'ultimate guides.' He didn't jump out of bed one day saying, "oh, I think I'm going to work with entrepreneurs!"
Note: I don't have to remind you of this, however...you should be clear within yourself that you have the skills, talent, and passion to solve the problems your audience so badly want solutions to.
Now that you have mastered building a dream client profile/audience, it's time to identify the PERFECT person (aka person to pay you) for your services.
Still stuck on building this audience?
Do this mini-exercise now
Picture one person who fits the profile of your ideal client.
What does this person struggle with?
What is this frustration costing her?
How is this frustration making her feel about her progress?
Step 2: Attract your dream client
So we talked about defining your audience, building your dream client profile and how to attract an audience when you are just starting out. The next thing is to attract clients who are willing to pay for a service.
In other words, PLEASE, attract the right people to your offers. Meaning, you need to actually qualify these people (again) before you can enjoy your creative business.
So, how do we get these DREAM clients?
Picture one person who fits the profile of your ideal client. Knowing who your prospect is can change the direction of your business. Let's use Hannah’s DREAM client profile:
A successful online entrepreneur who enjoys 5-figure and 6-figure launches; who understands the value of a winning direct response sales copy; would rather hire someone to write her copy for her than spend time learning new strategies and concepts; and is ready to commit to a successful partnership with her copywriter.
This is a bold statement. It excludes any and several entrepreneurs who clearly do not fit the description above.
Does it mean Hannah’s neglecting subscribers she’s built relationships with over the years but aren't enjoying 5 figure and 6 figure launches?
Does it mean that she’s been lured by the get-rich-quick antics of 6-figure marketing?
Has she forgotten the struggles of starting a new business, building an audience, and getting known in an oversaturated field?
For the love of God, please.
It just means there's a better way to define your DREAM (paying) client after knowing your prospect (something the gurus will only tell you when you sign up for their 10k coaching package).
These are the 4 types of clients you should be attracting
Your dream client is ALL of these 4 people:
Your dream client is AWARE of her business frustration.
Your dream client cannot stand the pain of not having a solution NOW.
Your dream client knows the VALUE of what you bring to the table.
Your dream client is WILLING and ABLE to pay you...RIGHT NOW.
Now you ask me: why not my lovely entrepreneur besties who know me, like me, and trust me, but can't afford my rates?
The answer is simple:
When you are just starting out as an entrepreneur, your primary goal is to be profitable. Hence, your marketing efforts should be spent on people who REALLY need a solution and want to cut in front of the line to afford it.
Having different target audiences is HARD work. You need to decide who your message is for.
This sounds mean and sharp. It doesn’t cater to discounts or trade by barter. But it is ethical. It adheres to the principle that cash flow is the lifeline of all businesses. You don’t want to be an expensive hobby.
A big mistake most entrepreneurs make (I made the same mistake too!) is to initially market their services to people who love the idea of what they offer but require lots of coaching and chasing (!!!) before they make a commitment. Usually, they aren't even aware of their problems and can't afford to make the investment needed to solve them.
You can fix this.
By creating specific content and marketing your services to clients who fit the 4 categories of dream clients above, you don't have to beg for clients. You don't even have to spend a whole course convincing them they need to get better!
Okay. What if my DREAM client is aware of her problems but is undecided?
She knows there's a problem, good. But she is not ready (or scared to commit). Okay.
There are two things you could do. The first is to change your ideal client to someone who WILL pay you for your services. Period. The second is to put in extra work to move this scared prospect down the funnel. A lot of work but it’s possible. So, how do you do that?
What you need to do is find the source of his or her belief system. Identify 1-3 predominant emotions governing her response to your offer(s).
Think about it this way:
What does Margaret currently believe about her situation that she feels is impossible to change?
What motivates Margaret to make a purchasing decision, and
How can I show her that buying my product will erase her doubt?
Now create several nurturing and educational pieces of content. You can also add several case studies of clients who have achieved great success by implementing your advice.
Again, let's bring back the example of busy moms who want to lose weight. How do you attract these hardworking ladies so that they eventually become clients?
Can you come up with 3 excellent blog posts that contain answers to the most burning questions they have? Excellent! Think about the mistakes they're making right now; the myths surrounding weight loss, take the shame away from the problem, and give them easy wins in form of meal plans. From their responses and the growing engagement, you can now determine what burning pain they can't wait to get rid of is and want a solution to right now.
Another way to do this is to help them make the decision to buy without selling them anything.
I know, counterintuitive! But I know someone who has been able to get people to close 95% of his free discovery calls using a non-selling approach.
DJ Sobanjo, a strategic business coach for online coaches, speakers, and trainers, decided to do something to overcome his disgust towards "selling" people things. He discovered that anytime he offered things for sale, people buy them..however, he's left with a yucky, slimy feeling.
So, he devised a method to get people to chat with him and share their dreams, aspirations, and problems via Skype or the phone. At the end of the chat, using honest strategies, he's able to get people to say 'YES' to his offers. And he has compiled this method into a book which he calls 'Discovery call magic.'
However...I only advise you do this if it doesn't take too much of your time. Meaning, don't spend all your precious hours designing offers for people who will NEVER pay you! Some people just will NEVER invest in anything...even if you offer discounts.
Okay, let's go to the next step. Now you have a question.
“What do I teach or offer? There are so many topics floating around in my head.”
I will answer your question in the next step.
Do this mini-exercise now
Picture a minimum of 3 people you could help with your offer(s)
Is he/she AWARE of his/her problems?
Does your dream client know the VALUE of having a solution?
Are they hungry for a solution NOW?
Are they WILLING and ABLE to pay RIGHT NOW?
Note: If your DREAM client cannot afford your 1:1 premium 3-month $2000 services, you could offer a basic 1hr power session to get started to gather testimonials. Of course, it would mean you have to re-define this target audience.
Note: This post is very long. In other to get value from this (and not neglect it), I recommend you download the entire thing as a FREE PDF. Simply tell me what your email address is and I'll send you this ENTIRE post PLUS a checklist with all the steps to take to earn your extra $1,000+...FREE! :)
Step 3: DETERMINE THE BEST OFFER
What exactly is an offer?
An offer is anything (course, coaching program, mastermind) that you introduce to your audience which is THE solution or answer to your customers’ DEEPEST desires. Basically, if I want to lose weight to look sexy and smart and you’re a weight loss coach, your answer to my problem is the offer which speaks to my desires.
Think about it this way.
Example #1: You're stressed about filing your income taxes. Sure, you could learn to do this yourself. But you're too busy with other things and would rather have someone take this off your plate completely. Then all of a sudden, someone comes to you and says, "Hey, does filing your income taxes make you wanna dive under the covers and never look at numbers anymore...I can help"
So, Susan, your income tax preparer, sells you a 1-day package to do your taxes for you.
BOOM! That's an offer.
Example #2: You're a new mom. You have an iPhone and would love to take beautiful pictures that make your friends swoon. You want to show off your beautiful children, husband, food, vacation spots, etc... However, you can't figure the darn thing out. You've tried flipping the phone horizontally and vertically but your pictures look like they came from a Nokia 3310 phone (this phone doesn't have a cam btw lol).
All of a sudden, you see an ad that says, "iPhone tricks for new moms: Learn how to master your iPhone so that you can capture "
BOOM! That's an offer.
Whether it's a 1-day event, a 3-month coaching package, an online course that you can finish at your pace...an offer is an offer.
So let's talk about why learning how to create great offers comes first
A well-positioned offer can take an "average product" and make it break the million-dollar mark.
I know, I know, this is cheating! Don't you just secretly get envious it when you see other successful online entrepreneurs who you think aren't as good as you are but keep making KA-CHING? Huh-huh, I get that envy too. But the thing is, if your offer is a great fit with your market, people jump on it like crazy. Even if the product is not as good as the one you're selling. This leads me to believe that you only need to zone in on your PERFECT prospects and sell more of what they WANT to them.
I'm sure you can think of one overpriced product that people tend to wait in lines for just to get their hands on (my opinion, of course).
A well-positioned offer can save you from being broke and give you the financial security and independence you crave.
When you know EXACTLY what people want and are able to sell out your paid offers without doing pressuring people, you can comfortably raise your rates so you maximize your time with clients.
A well-positioned offer can get you raving clients who are fascinated by your EVERY word.
People scream “YES! She gets me. Ohhhh she’s speaking my language." They tell their friends to come listen to you because you KNOW them well! When people can’t stop talking about you the media takes note. And they want to know why.
Here's how this offer thing works. (The 3 things your product or service needs to have before it can take off.)
For you to create an offer that people are willing to pay for, you need to have:
1) The RIGHT message and positioning. It is how you articulate your worth, your offer, and make the ask. With savvy messaging and positioning, you can take everything you know and create delicious packages that your clients cannot resist!
This is why WalMart can sell a winter jacker for $10 while Macys will also sell winter jackets for $99.
2) The RIGHT offer at the RIGHT time: The right offer will attract more paying clients even without a fancy sales page. Without the right offers, even a brilliant sales page will perform poorly. A poorly researched or ill-fitting offer can make the smartest entrepreneur look dumb and go broke.
3) Sell to the RIGHT people: You can have 1000 people on your email list. But the only way your business will be profitable is if you sell to the right people: people who are willing and able to work with you.
And to think that people spend all their time and effort on learning how to write sales pages when the offer hasn't been nailed yet!
When you learn how to create and position your offers, you can write and structure a highly converting sales page that gives your dream client an irresistible itch to click the 'buy button.
The best way to determine what to offer to get paid.
I want to make an assumption and I bet I’m 90 percent right on this one. The assumption is this:
As brilliant as you are, people don't care what you know until they know how much it will help them.
Super enlightening, lol. But listen, I’ve got a story for you.
When I was in nursing school, I was slaving over a community assessment paper with my colleagues. We'd dilly-dallied for weeks and mouthed off to each other that writing wasn't a big deal. I mean, we were graduate students and we should be able to "pool" our "collective" resources together.
On Friday we were stuck between the deep blue sea––the deadline for submission was 11:59pm, and the big black wolf––we were two pages over the required length.
So we worked like mad people. I offered to edit the paper and fancy it up (this happens when your peers compliment your writing and you think you can run faster than Usain Bolt!).
Then at 11:50pm, this happened: the references had jumped to the middle of the page! I didn’t know how to remove a page break!
You should’ve seen the horror on my face when I couldn't get it to move up. I hit the back and return buttons on my keyboard with fury hoping to get a movement.
11:51pm –– I didn't know what else to do.
1:53pm –– I took a screenshot of my predicament hoping my peers would solve it for me. Silence ensues. Some sorry replies.
11:56pm –– Then as a last resort, I typed this into google:
"How to delete unwanted page breaks on mac"
I didn't go very far; I clicked the first link I saw and followed the instructions. By 11:58pm the paper was ready for submission. And by 11:59pm, it was sitting nicely in the submission dropbox. Whew!
The lesson is clear with my story. No matter how small you think your knowledge is, someone might fail or despair without it. My grade and the grades of five other graduate students depended on one thing: how to delete unwanted page breaks. Yet I couldn't do that.
However, someone on the internet thought it kind enough to make a detailed guide of how to do this seemingly mundane task that everyone ought to know. And he or she did it right.
So, what if you can't think of what offer to create?
You only need to answer one question. Then the next.
You only need to provide the answer to one question: what is your biggest challenge? Aka you do not need to create a buffet when a single course meal would suffice.
Let's go back to doing research on your ideal clients and what not. Now, I said screaming "what do you want?!" in FB groups is silly...however, there is a better way to do this.
You don't have to ask "what is your biggest challenge" in random Facebook groups. Sometimes people aren't really forthcoming with "REAL" answers when you ask them what their biggest challenges are.
So, how do you ask carry out strategic research before you create a service or product?
Let's bring Primoz Bozic back for this one. According to him, your research should be highly targeted towards a specific resource or product AND must be done rapidly and intensively. Here's what he says:
I have a slightly different opinion than most experts have around customer research. With highly targeted research, you’re always creating something – like a table of contents for your free resource or an outline for your online program – AND you’re getting feedback on your outline as you do this, rather than just talking about hypothetical topics.
It goes like this: 1) I'm creating a free resource around ______ (topic). Here's what I'm going to cover. Would you be interested?
I know, this is contrary to what most online gurus teach. Like most online entrepreneurs, Primoz's journey to the top hasn't been a straight, 3-point shot.
Create websites for businesses in Slovenia. Flop!
Work with employees and help their employees become more productive. Flop!
Then he created an insane 26,000+ word post on productivity for online poker players.
He got invited by the forum "owners" to create monthly educational videos and host weekly live coaching classes.
He had regular 2 hour long live coaching calls, which had around 50-100 people on the call each week.
He increased his rate and at one point, was talking with 13 different clients at one point.
Hello burnout! So he started a month-long group coaching program together with another poker mindset coach.
So, yes, research can get you stuck in the "question mode" for way too long and you won't make money.
Another reason you shouldn't create a buffet course or service when starting out.
I may not need a full-fledged course on how to direct a movie. However, I may be desperate to quench my thirst for how to edit a video. I may only need to first learn how to remove a background noise from the video. I may only need how to overlay something with a funny emoticon. I may only need how to add an intro and outro to a podcast.
You can't know this information unless you start with the one burning desire that your dream clients have or the burning pain that they want to run away from.
If you have an online course that teaches me “How to edit videos in 3 days even if I’m a beginner,” I’d rather have it than have you sell me on how I can become an academy award-winning director. Two different things, slightly different audiences.
Now...some people want to sell stuff that isn't really tangible, physical, or measurable.
I'm talking about my friends in the spiritual and personal development space who sell courses and services like how to "Be an inner goddess," "Release your innate sexy charm," and all that jazz. Creating an offer might be somewhat tricky if all you do is pepper your messaging with fluffy, pretentious words that "feel good."
Serial online entrepreneur and writer, Regina Anaejieonu, explains it this way:
"Build something tangible. Create a platform people can understand so that you can actually reach them and help them.
A.K.A. Go take "essence" and "best life" and "empowerment" and "manifest" and "mindset" out of your IG bio unless they're backed up by a tangible offering that people love and pay for, that makes you feel good, and that you have spent time researching and building towards."
It's still simple: you need to actually offer something that will improve people's lives, improve their businesses, or increase their income. Feeling like an inner goddess and releasing your innate sexy charm can be an outcome or result of what you offer.
"But I want to have several offers and sell several things!"
Okay. Having a product suite is good if you have many content pieces to move prospects along the awareness spectrum (I'll explain this later). But for now, if you are just starting out, focus on one thing and deliver that one thing.
Again, let's take a look at Regina for a second. She is a serial entrepreneur and has released SEVERAL courses over the last 5 years.
She has lots of content for each stage you might be at in your business. Because she has built a successful business in different niches and has pivoted overtime (from cupcakes to graphic design, writing hundreds of articles in Entrepreneur.com, USAToday.com, and more), she has a product suite that contains courses that provide answers to questions regarding making money online.
She has built insane engagement over the years. The engagement in her free Facebook group is off the charts. Not engaging is like being in college and listening to all to fun
Here's an image of one of her Pinterest boards.
One thing is constant: She KNOWS what her readers want. And she has found a way to always address SPECIFIC pain points with SPECIFIC results.
Still want to offer 10+ different things to your audience?
If you have several ideas and would love to offer them all to your audience, one way to do that would be to consider membership programs or bundle individual courses into one signature program with guided implementation. This can be particularly helpful if you're an expert on helping people with branding, copywriting, audience building, and generating sales.
So, it was no surprise that Regina eventually bundled up her courses into one program called 'Publish Your Thing (PYT)' so that she can guide her students through each business decision in a more cohesive way.
“Now that I know what my audience wants, how do I validate my offer?”
There are several ways to validate your offers...you know, to make sure that your audience will pay for them.
In the past, I was all gung ho on surveys and asking people what they thought and if they will pay. But I realized that most people who fill out surveys are the vocal minority. They fill ‘em out but don’t eventually hire you.
Don’t waste your time yet (unless they are willing or will be paying customers). There is a very quick way to do this.
Look online. Are there people who are selling the same course topic you’re proposing? Yes? Check!
Are they making money from selling these courses? Yes? Check!
Are people’s lives getting changed from investing in these courses? Yes? Check!
There’s your 3-step, quick validation course!
But that’s not all! This 3-step validation system ONLY answers the question of “do they want it?” not the question of “how much info do they want in it/what else should they know about it.”
In the same regard, with validation comes the issue of how much your course or coaching program is worth.
Meaning, how should I price my course?
On pricing your offers without stealing people’s souls.
I won’t tell you to sell “premium” offers or “mid-premium” offers (whatever that means). I also won’t go into whether you should launch and price your signature course with numbers ending in zeros or 997.
Pricing your programs depends on several things.
Your positioning aka “premium brand.”
Your income goals.
How much others are charging for similar services.
How much YOUR time and effort is worth.
...how much you're willing to ask for.
Basically, you can charge 5k or 10k for your coaching services, I won’t judge you.
However, there is one question about pricing that you should always answer when creating offers: “what is that thing that other courses/programs do NOT offer that my clients desperately need?”
If you can you identify an unmet need in existing programs in your industry, and can move in to close the gap with your unique offer that solves your customer’s problems, you have won half the battle on pricing.
Why you DO need to price your products or services well (even if your skills come easy to you).
Now, a PSA on pricing.
I've noticed that a lot of creatives have a lot of problems with asking people to pay for what they offer. I get it, I, myself, had a huge mental block a few years ago (career coaching days) that I literally told someone on a phone call "I normally charge for this but you can decide to pay or not." Deep down in my heart, I knew that the strategies and information was worth $$$––I see other coaches charging 2k for this! But I couldn't make myself to slap a price on my services.
Okay. Here's the thing: FREE (for too long) doesn't benefit anyone. In fact, you'll end up frustrating yourself out of your business.
This is even worse for creatives who have been programed to live for and love working for an employer. I find that we are open to making money when it involves blood, tears, and sweat but cringe at the prospect of EARNING more. The prospect of pricing makes you feel as if someone is accusing you of robbing other people's purses (because of how easy your skills feel like to you).
But...good businesses make money. Charity (free work) is only possible when you're making enough to not worry about getting bankrupt.
One of the business experts I respect, Maya Elious, puts it best when she says "a servant heart doesn't have to leave you with a struggling bank account."
Do you go to your job and work for free to prove you have a good heart or that you’re a good person? A servant heart has everything to do with your level of humility not your level of poverty. Whether you’re doing something for money or not, your servanthood is in your intent.
I serve people with my free content through my blog, newsletter, Facebook group, and social media platforms.
I also serve people in my paid membership, one-on-one coaching, and brand agency. The integrity of my heart isn’t determined on whether or not I charge.
It’s because I charge that I’m in a position to serve for free. Too many of you want to be a non-profit before you have any profit. Even non-profits cost money - Maya Elious
Maya Elious is a personal branding strategist that teaches experts how to create curriculum based content to grow & monetize their online brand.
Like some of the experts I've mentioned, she’s helped hundreds of students and clients launch digital content platforms like blogs, challenges, masterclasses, webinars, and courses so they could establish and monetize their expertise in the online world.
One of the things I admire most about her is the ability to encourage women of God to stop hiding behind the fear of moving from FREE to PAID. To help them do this, she has built a platform for her free content––which is her blog. And if you really want to have her in your corner for less than what it'd cost to hire a coach, her content prep academy membership for $47/month is where to start.
Even worse is building your business off of discounting your offers.
A few months ago, I tried this approach. I offered my entire Creative Entrepreneur Template bundle for a Valentine's day special of $49:50. The regular price then was $99.
I sent emails to my list, posted on FB, made cute graphics for Instagram posts. I even promoted in FB communities that allow offer promotions.
The result?? Zero sales. As in, $0.
This confirmed my belief that you don't have to discount your product to be a successful creative entrepreneur.
If you don't believe me, check out what 7 and 8 figure entrepreneur, Ramit Sethi discovered about discounting your products.
Ramit Sethi is a New York Times bestselling author and founder of iwillteachyoutoberich.com (I Will Teach You to Be Rich) where he talks personal finance, careers, and productivity, and Growthlab which is all about building and growing a profitable business. He has created several products and services over 8yrs and has interesting polices. Policies like: 1) He doesn't do discounts or flash sales. Ever. 2) If you have credit card debt, do not invest in his programs.
So, imagine my surprise when I received this email from him.
The result? His launch bombed.
In a honest, tell all post, he talks about how the discount promo he and his team launched for the first time in 8 years bombed. From the promotion, they were only able to make $42,384.
And according to Ramit, "$42,000 is real money to a solopreneur or small team. But when you factor in our opportunity cost — all the hours of brainstorming, copywriting, design, and testing, plus what we could have done with other marketing strategies — this was a loss."
If this were you, what would you have done?
Here's what he did: "We huddled and decided we should do something uncharacteristic for us. We quit. We cut our losses and didn’t even send the second email."
So, a recap of the things you’ve learned from steps 1, 2, and 3.
You’ve learned how to create an ideal dream client profile.
You’ve learned the 4 types of clients you should be attracting.
You’ve learned how to answer the question “what do I teach?”
You’ve learned the quickie on how to price your programs.
Now, the next question…“I know what my clients want and I'm ready to offer it. What do I include in my offer?”
I will answer your question in the next step.
But...do this right now!
What is the one, burning question your ideal client is asking right now?
Once you know what this is, go craft your irresistible offer.
Make sure it's a offer they want solutions to so bad they're willing to pay for it!
Running out of time? Yup, I'm going all in on this one. I recommend you download the entire thing as a FREE PDF. Simply tell me what your email address is and I'll send you this ENTIRE post PLUS a checklist with all the steps to take to earn your extra $1,000+...FREE! :)
Step 4: Assess their current knowledge.
We’re now in step four. Yay!
We ended our last conversation at your question “what do I write on my sales page?”
Hmm...let's not start writing yet.
You will thank me for this later...because there are 3 things you absolutely need to know before you write your sales page.
Alright, let’s get into it.
Before you start selling to your audience, you need to answer these 3 questions.
The first question is:
1) What does my dream client already know?
I’d like to say this is the next most important thing you need to know after learning about your customer’s problems.
The reason is simple: the less your potential client knows about his problems and available solutions on the market, the harder it is to sell him.
If your dream client is the housewife who spends 4 hours reading Amazon reviews before she purchases a bathroom cleaner, selling is going to be harder because she is skeptical. You can’t come to this person and say “Hey, here’s the deal. It’s super great for you!” and expect her to jump on the offer. Even if you have all the credibility in the world, you need to do one thing.
Qualify your prospect on the customer awareness spectrum.
There are five stages of customer awareness, according to advertising guru, Gene Schwartz.
Why awareness matters.
Have you ever been on a webinar and 45 minutes into the training, you roll your eyes and get out of the chat room because it was all stuff you knew, and you know that course is definitely not for you? That’s the feeling.
You can’t start a sales message without knowing how aware your prospect is and if he/she is aware of the solutions that exist. You can’t treat them like kids if they’re college professionals.
2) What type of lead is best for this person?
Ok, Margaret...what is a lead? A lead refers to the way you start any sales message. It is the first thing that your prospect engages with on your sales page.
There are different types of leads: the offer lead, the promise lead, the proclamation lead, the story lead, and the problem-solution lead. At the same time, leads can be direct or indirect. Which one should you use to start your sales page?
For example, direct leads.
Let’s go back to the housewife who searches for several Amazon reviews before she purchases cleaning products. You see her posts in a free FB group and immediately PM her to offer value. If you mention the offer (your product) too soon, she would snicker, give your sales page the side eye––if she even gets to open it, and close it before she gets to the benefits and success stories.
This is because your offer is too direct and won’t work on the housewife who is problem-aware/solution-aware but unaware of who you are, what you do, and what your credibility is. In other words, she is one skeptical lady. This lady knows that she is going to be sold to and she goes…”oookay, what’s the catch?”
Direct leads only work on those who know you, like you, and trust you already. The impact is instantaneous; less time writing convincing arguments because you know people want it. It works like this: “I know you want this. I have this now. Here’s a good deal. Come have at it.”
Headline: Give me 5 days and I will turn your website into a client generating machine.
There you go with direct leads. But...
But what if your prospect is problem aware, solution unaware, and brand unaware?
You gotta teach and nurture to move them down the awareness spectrum.
For example, your prospect might be aware that knowing a second language is immensely beneficial. But she might be unaware of how to gain fluency in the second language. Maybe she knows how to gain fluency but she’s skeptical that you are the right person for her.
The awareness level of your prospects can dictate how long your sales page is when you eventually start selling. The more aware your prospect is, the less time you spend convincing them. The less aware your customer is, the more time you spend on educating them and showing proof!
Okay, back to leads. I might have mentioned sales page or copy multiple times. How should YOU lead your sales copy?
First, let's define a sales page quickly. This page is where your customers click to go learn about the features and benefits of a service or product before they make a purchase.
There are several ways to “open a lead” to a winning sales copy, and one of my favorite ways is to approach with the offer lead, the story lead or a problem-solution lead. Remember I mentioned 6 types of leads...but I promise you this: you don’t need to know them all. You only need to know these 3 types of lead for now.
The offer lead is very direct and assumes she’s all familiar with the problem, solution, and your brand. The story lead disarms the skeptical housewife searching for cleaning products and enthralls her with emotional language, vivid pictures, and transformational homes. The problem-solution lead appeals to her knowledge deficit about what works and fills in the gap before taking her to the offer.
This is important and worth repeating! Here's another explanation of the 3 types of lead.
The offer lead. This is for the problem aware/solution aware prospect. Housewife knows what she wants and that you have it. In your email, sales page, call out, etc., go straight to the point. They know you, like you, and are willing to take away their problems NOW.
The story lead. This is for the problem unaware/solution unaware prospect and is a tougher sell. Maybe housewife doesn't even know that mixing ammonia and bleach is a problem. She also doesn't know an alternative cleaning solution. Neither does she know who you are and how you can solve her problems. Yea, longer sales page and nurturing needed.
The problem-solution lead. This is for the problem aware/solution unaware prospect. Here, the housewife knows there's a problem but is unaware of what solution currently exists. Maybe she’s aware of several solutions but she’s unfamiliar with the RIGHT solution, or that you have the solution to her problem.
Yes, you need to know this in order to decide how to start the sales copy to your offer. If you attract people who are on different journeys in their awareness scale and match them to the wrong offer or lead, your sales with tank.
We’re still talking about customer awareness and the 3 things you need to know before you start selling
Let’s get the third one.
3) What else will make your dream client say 'YES!'?
Things are getting exciting! You already know what your prospect already knows (sounds weird but it’s right). You already know what lead with work on this person. Now, you need to know how to get this person over the hump: indecision.
Your 'call to action' (CTA) is the action you want someone to take when reading your offer. Literally. Pricing isn't the only thing that makes your audience buy from you..
BEFORE you start writing your sales copy, you need to think about the action you want to influence.
Are you going to offer a discount with some countdown timer if they 'buy now'?
Are you heaping bonuses on your offer if they complete an application?
Or do you want to provide access to you (aka mastermind) if they pay IN FULL within a timeframe?
I can see that you’re thinking. And that’s good. Let me help you here.
I consider myself a problem aware/solution aware/skeptical prospect, lol. For me to click the “buy button” on a product, it has to be a combination of price and some 1-on-1 time or a very close equivalent to the 1-on-1 part. I really don’t care about your bonuses. Even if the bonuses are amazing but there are lots of implementation steps to your product and no **high touch approach**, I’ll scram.
Since your dream client is interested BUT undecided, you need to figure out what beliefs or myths they currently hold dear...then you tip them over the fence by addressing their hesitations with your CTA. In order words, what beliefs do your DREAM CLIENTS currently hold dear? What do they need to believe in order to move forward? Do they believe that they need your one-on-one attention before they can purchase your online course? And how can you create this belief in their heads? Maybe add a 1:1 component?
There’s one more thing: testimonials. If you are speaking with skeptical amazon lady, seeing testimonials of happy housewives and a demonstration of how the product works might be what takes her over the hump.
Here’s the summary
Figure out what your client already knows.
Know what type of lead is best for your prospect: the direct lead, the story lead, or the problem-solution lead.
Decide how you want to reinforce your CTA. Then drive it with all your might.
Now, the next question…“I'm ready to sell. How do I structure my sales page”
I will answer your question in the next chapter.
But...do this right now.
What does your dream client already know about her problems and solutions available to her? (check out people she already follows/listens to, blogs she reads, communities she's in).
Qualify your dream client on your awareness spectrum. (Is she aware of her problems and solutions but not YOU? etc).
What is the underlying emotional trigger that will inspire her/him to take action? Use the appropriate CTA to reinforce this!
Step 5: How to structure your sales page for maximum impact.
Final step, whoop!
Let's jump right into structuring your sales page for maximum impact because, well, you've got all your content ready!
You're ready? So am I :)
Sales pages aren't written from scratch.
You probably know this by now but I'll talk about it again. You know those fancy pages that you visit when you want to buy something that includes features, benefits, testimonials for people who got results, mockup of your actual product, etc? Yep, those are sales pages designed with one thing in mind: to make you buy.
Well, sales pages aren't written from scratch. They are structured...written to make the reader take an action: click the button and 'add to cart.'
Think about your sales page as if it were a presentation. It would have the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. You want people to feel strongly about what you are presenting on...and to take action.
The mistake lots of entrepreneurs make is trying to come up with 20+ pages of sales copy without knowing how a sales page is structured. A good copywriter who is worth her weight in gold will never write a sales page without thinking about these very simple but powerful elements.
What powerful elements?
A very strong sales page is composed of these powerful, 7 elements:
The Product Story
The Product (offer)
I call these the 7 Ps to direct response copywriting. Or the 7 secrets to writing a persuasive sales page.
Take your dream client through the perfect buyer's journey by following these steps
There are more complex parts to sales pages, especially when you include headlines, subheadings, testimonials, features and benefits, and the order process. But a very simple sales page has all the 7 elements mentioned above.
The person is obviously your ideal client.
The pain is the challenge that your ideal client is trying to solve. It is what keeps her up at night.
The promise is the hype that you create as they go down the page. Now the reader wants to know more about this product or service.
The picture is where you create that arc of transformation by creating visuals with words. You project them into the future without frustration and regret.
Here, you can get into your Product Story, who you are, how you came up with this God-given idea and the wonders it has created for your business. You tell them that they've been doing life and business all wrong until they see they solution you have.
This is a healthy way to build tension!
Now they're intrigued. They want to know what the miracle is! At this point, you simply tell them what the solution is.
This is me: I believe the solution is a one or two sentence paragraph that summarizes everything about your offer. Unfortunately, the solution isn't always distinct on sales pages. It is usually linked to the offer. Hey, not complaining! If this is the case, then you better spend a great deal of time explaining the offer.
Next, you introduce The Product, the offer; your coaching program, online course, or mastermind. With this revelation, the cat's out of the bag. Now you can spend the rest of the time explaining your offer, going back to the promise of a transformation, touching on the pain.
You've got the reader hyped. But there are remaining questions: Why you? Will it work?
Show them The Proof. Produce the testimonials in written, audio, and video format. Let your reader know that you've been mentioned on several niche business websites and have been endorsed by the big names. Have your clients made more money since you started working with them? Show and tell.
Finally, you reveal the investment, The Payment. What will it cost this person to get past this firewall for him or her to work with you? How often do they have to pay you?
Writing a sales page is work. But you can never go wrong when you start with these 3 steps explained above.
But you can never go wrong when you start with these 3 steps explained above.
You need to have someone you're selling to, an ideal client.
Never imagine the words that go on a sales page. Ask your prospects!
Sales pages are structured, not written from scratch.
Use the 7 Ps to take buyers on an emotional journey backed (backed with proof).
Now it's your turn. Do this now
Go back to your sales page.
Break the chunks of words into sections. Even if you don't know what to write yet––we'll get to that in the next point, have these sections handy.
Does your sales copy address all the 7 Ps of direct response copywriting?
This is the end of the guide or what I’d like to call a course.
Go through the "course" as many times as you want.
Do the exercises and complete all research required because, quite frankly, effective offers and sales copy is built on crazy good research!
Your next step towards getting DREAM clients to throw their money at you (because your offer is so mouth-watering).
There are no two ways around this. Aka you can't build a profitable business if you neglect the importance of crafting an offer that people actually want to spend money on.
This is the only way to start speaking with perfect clients and stop wasting time promoting products/services that no one buys.
It is the only way you can be more efficient...because you aren't wasting your time wondering why things don't work...why people aren't buying.
I've unpacked a lot of things in this post and the good thing is that you can actually download this guide so that you can refer to it over and over again.
Can you do this in 30 days? No pressure...but plenty can happen in 30 days.
You get clear on your marketable skills...even if it was just scattered in your head before.
You can identify which problems your clients want to solve RIGHT NOW.
You can design offers to take away those problems.
And you can write your sales copy using my tried and tested structured approach.
Now, don't get stuck in the "figure outing" stage. Move and take action! It took me 3 months to get this blog post done (because, life) but I'm perfectly sure that I'll still be catching typos and fixing sentences, or adding case studies and screenshots.
And you know what will make me happiest??? If you share this guide with someone you love.
To share on Twitter, simply click this link to say:
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“Margaret has written a comprehensive post on how to make more money online without quitting your day job! ”Wanna learn how to make extra $1000+ per month using the skills you already have? Get the FREE ultimate guide to extra $1k here” https://bit.ly/2IhkIWJ
Thank you so much for reading!
Disclaimer: Your results may vary. These strategies don't work unless you do. I don't make any huge guarantees that you will make 5 or 6 figures because there are several elements that drive revenue apart from a course on how to create an offer dream clients want. Things like the size of your email list, marketing budget, the uniqueness of your offer...etc, all determine the success of your program.