To hear some people talk, achieving that mythical “6-figure business” level is an exercise in frustration and futility. Those are the people who are working 80-hour weeks, struggling with less-than-ideal clients, and quickly losing their motivation.
You’ll often hear them say things like:
- “If only I could find the right clients…”
- “If only I could retain my clients for more than a month or two…”
- “If only I could create products that don’t require me to trade hours for dollars…”
And the truth is, those “if onlys” would make all the difference in their business. If only they knew how to achieve them.
The fact is, though, they can find the right clients, keep them happily paying for months or years, and even dramatically reduce the number of hours they work—without lowering their profits.
It’s a simple, proven system that works to fill your funnel and keep the clients and money coming in, predictably and consistently.
- Before your first client can pay you, she has to know who you are and what you do. Discovery can happen in a dozen different ways, so it’s just a matter of choosing the best method for you and your ideal client.
- Build a Relationship. Once she’s found you, your future client is unlikely to hire you on first sight. That would be a bit like getting married on the first date. It’s possible, but it rarely goes well or lasts long. To have a successful marriage, you first have to build a relationship. The same is true in business.
- Make the Sale. The final piece of the 6-figure puzzle is to make the sale. This can happen in a variety of ways, and an ideal sales funnel contains them all, working together seamlessly to present the right offer at the right time, and seal the deal.
Sound too easy? While it’s proven to work, and easy to set up, it can be confusing to make all the pieces fit together seamlessly. Let’s take a look at them one at a time.
1. Discovery Systems
Ask most coaches where their clients come from, and they’ll almost always tell you “word of mouth.”
That’s great, because it skips right over discovery and relationship building and makes a beeline for the sale. Here’s the problem though: It’s inconsistent and unpredictable.
Is blogging still relevant today? That’s a question that many online business owners ask, and some will tell you that—like email marketing—blogging is dead.
Don’t believe them.
Blogging is critical for building your audience. It’s the very foundation of your discovery system, and forms the centerpiece for everything else you do online.
Social Media Accounts
Judging by the number of social media platforms out there, it’s pretty clear that being social accounts for a huge amount of all time spent online. While it’s generally not a good idea to base your entire business on any social media platform, it is a necessary part of your overall success.
For list building and sales, you really can’t beat the power of a webinar. They give you the opportunity to:
- Introduce yourself to a previously unknown audience
- Prove your expertise by sharing valuable information
- Grow your mailing list by partnering with a colleague in a complementary niche
- Make sales through time-limited offers
Not only that, but once you’ve created two or three presentations, you’ll always be prepared to speak, whether at a conference, a telesummit, a podcast, or anywhere else your audience is.
Like webinars, public speaking is an ideal way to get in front of your ideal client and speed up the “know, like, trust” time. Wherever you’re speaking, the audience members will feel an instant connection, and if your topic resonates with them, you’re well on your way to turning those listeners into buyers.
Publish a Book
When it comes to getting discovered, there really is no better method than to write a book. It doesn’t have to be as difficult or time-consuming as you think, either. In fact, if you’ve been blogging for a while, you likely already have all the content you need, it just has to be organized and formatted, then uploaded to your favorite self-publishing platform.
2. Relationship Systems
Once you have their attention (the “know” part of the oft-repeated “know, like and trust”) you have to foster a relationship. It’s not enough for a potential client to stumble across your blog or social media accounts, or even for her to buy your new book. You also have to maintain contact and become the “go-to” expert if you want to turn those chance meetings into sales.
Like blogging, many “gurus” will tell you that email is dead. In reality, email marketing is very much alive, and is still the single best way to stay in touch with your potential clients.
But the key here is to stay in touch. You can’t simply ask for their email address in exchange for a free gift, and then only reach out when you have something to sell. Doing that is a surefire way to destroy any trust they have in you.
As old-fashioned as it might sound, in-person networking can really cement a relationship that begins online. Attending conferences is a fantastic way to meet your ideal client just when she’s ready to make a commitment in her business or life.
No networking opportunities in your area? No problem. You can network in person by providing free consultations. In fact, this tried-and-true method is a favorite among coaches looking to grow their business.
3. Sales Systems
Now that you’ve got your discovery and relationship systems in place, the only thing between you and your six-figure year are more well-thought-out sales systems to handle sales, follow-ups and even customer support automatically, leaving you free to continue to grow the discovery and relationship components.
Your Sales Funnel
Entire books have been written about sales funnels, but here’s the basic idea:
Your sales funnel begins with your free offers—your blog, social media updates, YouTube videos, etc. These are the things that anyone online can access at zero cost. Following that, are your free items that require an opt-in. The cost of access isn’t money, but rather an email address. These include checklists, worksheets, video training, small reports, resource guides, etc.
When a visitor lands in your cart, your relationship with her has reached a new level. If she buys, you’re in the perfect position to offer more in terms of an upsell, cross-sell, or one-time-offer.
Shopping Carts and Product Delivery
The cart you choose and the method of product delivery can mean the difference between making a sale and not. While a PayPal button is really all it takes to collect payment online, it might not be enough to instill confidence in your audience.
If your ideal client is older or is used to doing business offline, she might not be comfortable with just PayPal as an option. Consider upgrading to a cart that offers credit card payments as well, so she’ll feel better about security.
From the moment of purchase onward (and really, even before!) your clients and customers deserve the best support you can offer them. It begins with product delivery, continues with follow-up and encouragement, private and group calls, your help desk, product updates and more.
Solid Systems Can Transform Your Business
If you’re not earning that six-figure salary you deserve, chances are one or more of these systems are lacking. Perhaps you have lots of traffic to your blog and social media, but few sales. That would be an indication that your relationship building system needs some work. If engagement is rocking, but you’re not making sales, it’s time to take a look at your sales system.
If your sales system is good, but you want to increase your profits (who doesn’t?) then a good hard look at your funnel is probably in order. Also, check your follow-up system if your customers buy once but never again.
And of course, if there’s no traffic at all, and you can trace each and every client back to a referral, your discovery system likely needs an overhaul.
I do want to stress, though, that these three systems work best when they’re tightly integrated with each other. A discovery system alone can bring in clients, but it won’t be efficient or consistent. A relationship system will help grow your list and build your audience, but it will be slow going if you don’t have a great discovery system in place.
Take a look at your overall business, and identify those areas where each system could use some sprucing up. Whether your social media accounts are outdated, your blog looks like a ghost town, or your sales funnel is as leaky as a piece of cheesecloth, take the steps needed to tighten those systems up and you’ll be well on your way to earning that six-figure paycheck.
Love & Abundance,