Episode 118: Why Technology and “Proven” Formulas Aren’t the Answer

A few months back I had a conversation with a potential client and a very talented consultant who I’ll call Karen (which isn’t her real name, but I want to preserve her identity).  

Our conversation really got me thinking, so I wanted to share it here because it’s a discussion I’ve had many times with other business owners. It always frustrates me, the amount of misleading information that’s out there about growing a thriving and profitable business online.

Karen was referred to me by another client as she was planning a big launch —  her 2nd big launch in the last 6 months. As we got to talking, Karen told me that her previous launch was a flop. She shared some pretty sobering numbers with me , and although it wasn’t the full picture, the bottom line was that she’d spent waaaaaay more than she’d made and Karen was hoping this launch would be the one that turned everything around. 

Her business REALLY needed this launch to succeed to get back on track. 

Right there I had to stop Karen and be honest with her. 

“If your first launch flopped, just changing ad people won’t magically save your next launch no matter how good I am. In fact, I don’t think you should launch that offer as-is yet.”   

To say Karen was disappointed, frustrated, and really frazzled is a bit of an understatement. 

Karen had been told so many times that she had to invest BIG to make bank, so she was ready to put it all on the line by pulling money out of a home equity loan to pay me and pay for her ad spend. 

But I said no. At least  for this specific launch. 

At this point Karen was pretty peeved at me because in her mind, gambling on this big launch with tons of Facebook ads was the ONLY way she could get traction in her business. But once we went through her numbers, I KNEW ads weren’t the right next step for her business. 

Instead, we needed to take a step back and get her foundation in place. 

People typically hate it when I tell them this. I mean, as a business owner and entrepreneur, you and I tend to be fast-moving people, right? We make decisions, move ahead and get stuff done. 

But the problem is that sometimes we — and yes, even I — move too fast and we don’t have a foundation to support our business growth… which can lead to lots and lots of problems. 

In Karen’s case, everything that Karen put together looked like it would work. But we dove into the numbers, it was REALLY obvious that it didn’t convert. 

So when I told Karen we needed to get the foundation in place, she thought I meant she had to invest in more technology, writing and graphic design. 

So let’s look at what I laid out for Karen instead.

 the marketing funnel show, marketing funnel, marketing funnels the marketing funnel show, marketing funnel, marketing funnels 

Biggest Show Takeaways: 

  • To be ready to run Facebook ads successfully, there are three things that MUST be rock solid: 
    • You HAVE to know your audience – inside and out. You’ve got to know what they struggle with, what their dreams are and WHY they’d want to buy your offer. 
    • You’ve got to have an offer that is tested, proven and that people WANT TO BUY.
    • You’ve GOT to be prepared with a 360 degree content plan. Facebook ads + a marketing funnel AREN’T going to do the job. 
  • People selling the fancy marketing funnel software and the online marketing courses or peddling that Facebook ads are the key to everything  aren’t telling you some REALLY important caveats. 
  • Caveat #1: It’s really, really, REALLY hard to sell to cold audiences especially in the coaching, consulting and online business space.  
    • Learning who you want to attract and what attracts them is VITAL to growing your business. 
    • This goes WAAAAY beyond some silly customer avatar worksheet. It’s about the problems they struggle with, the information they’re looking for, when and how they come into contact with you and more. 
    • Spending time attracting the right cold audience and warming them up makes selling your offer 100 times easier down the road. But it takes time, effort and focus that many people don’t put in consistently enough.
  • Caveat #2: The cost of Facebook ads — especially ads targeting COLD AUDIENCES — has gone up a lot in the last few years. 
    • Back in 2013 and 2014, it was easy to get leads for less than 50 cents — sometimes a lot less. Now, I’ve got some clients in the $3.75 – $5.00 range for leads, but it takes much more than just ads to get there. 
    • The days of dropping $1,000 on Facebook ads and attracting 2,000 or more people is LOOOONG gone. It takes a much different approach than it did even just a couple years ago. 
  • As I broke this down for Karen, she began to realize that all the money she’d spent on her marketing funnel software, her writer and her graphic designer may have been a bit too early. Because she realized one big thing: she’d put the fancy packaging and wrapping ahead of the two pieces that made a real difference: 
    • A proven offer
    • A proven audience
  • Here’s a quick rundown of what we did to get Karen’s offer out the door without draining her money: 
    • #1. We tested audiences. Different characteristics, different problems, different messages, different creative. Once we got the right audience, problem and message we knew EXACTLY how to move forward with proven insights. We spent $300 testing a bunch of different things so that we’d understand what worked. 
    • #2. Using those insights, Karen created a simple – yet effective – lead magnet. Her lead magnet spoke to the specific audience problem we’d uncovered and worked like a charm when we got going. Karen created this simple lead magnet using google sheets in less than 2 hours. 
    • #3. We focused on testing her landing pages for lead magnet opt ins. When Karen had first come to me, her landing pages were converting at about 12%, meaning that for every 100 people who visited the page, about 12 would opt in. That also means she had to pay Facebook for a LOT of people who weren’t interested in her offer. After testing and perfecting our message, we got her landing page conversion rate up to 63%. That meant for every 100 people who came to the page, 63 would opt in which was much, much better than the 12 from before. That meant she had to spend a lot less on Facebook ads to grow. 
    • #4. We created a holistic content plan where ads were a PIECE of the pie — not the whole pie. Karen committed to doing some videos, writing a few blog posts and emails, doing some podcast episodes and more. All of the efforts worked together to speak to the audience we knew we wanted. 
    • #5. We tested four mini offers. These were little baby offers to get insights into what people wanted to buy. Mini offers are really key because they helped us find out if we were attracting the right kind of people. The good news is that even with these little baby offers, she was able to more than make back the $300 we used to test her audiences — so she felt good knowing people would at least buy something.
  • Armed with the insights and the mini offer testing, Karen put together a totally redesigned offer. We spent $750 to advertise this to the warmed up audience Karen had been working on and she was THRILLED that her launch wasn’t only profitable, but was streamlined and simple.
  • Bottom line: Karen didn’t need to go out and plaster Facebook land with ads. She didn’t need to spend more money on fancier software. She really needed to find her audience, test her message and find an offer they wanted. 
    • Once Karen is through with her current group of clients we’ll gather together and get even more insights BEFORE the big launch next round. 
      • By the time we launch big, not only will Karen have money from her current clients but she’ll also have all the insights, testimonials, stories and examples they generate. 

Create Profit Without Worry – one system at a time. I’ll show you how to attract a steady flow of buyers without all the hustle with this free download →  5 Steps To Profit Without Worry.

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