How much should a custom Sales Funnel project cost?

Eventually, you find yourself talking about cost.

If you’re a sales funnel builder and expert strategist, as I am, you’ve been asked how much your services cost thousands of times.

And you end up having to make some decisions:

  • What services exactly am I providing for this potential client?
  • How many hours do I think will this take my team and I to complete?
  • How much is the completion of this funnel project worth to the client, from a business perspective? How much return on investment is he/she able to gain from this funnel?
  • Does the client have money? Is the client clear on where he/she wants to take their business?
  • Should I charge hourly, by project or a retainer?
  • Is this a one off funnel project or, is there potential for a long term partnership with this client?
  • How busy am I or is my team? Do I need to take on this project? Do I even want it? How passionate am I about it?

Asking yourself these questions to begin with are very important. Also, how you are going to answer these is important. Evaluating the client from the beginning is crucial.

Why? Because every interaction I am going to have with the client in the future will help me learn more about them and the project at hand. Therefore, it will affect what the cost for the funnel project will be.

Of course, it’s also important to say that cost often times depend on market on location to where you’re based out of.

For the purpose of giving you as much behind-the-scenes information as I can, I’m talking to an American audience in U.S. dollars.

Please take those numbers and prices with a grain of salt, depending on where you live and what the economy and market demand is like in your country.

How much should a custom Sales Funnel project cost?

My team and I have built sales and marketing funnels, or been a part of funnel projects — all on Clickfunnels or BuilderAll — that have ranged in cost from under $1,000 to over $25,000, for complete funnels.

So in short: it depends.

This is why I can not provide you with an exact estimate of the cost or say, “This is what you should charge!”. Because, it varies a LOT.

The thing is, most people’s budget is on average 2-3 times smaller than their wishes or expectations. So if I give you an exact estimate, it’s highly unlikely both of you will be happy once it’s all said and done.

A proper estimate costs money

Let’s talk about the first thing I think a lot of marketing agencies or funnel builders miss out on when quoting for a sales funnel project:

It’s the estimate.

Creating a cost estimate of a funnel project takes time. A lot more time actually than 90% of prospects anticipate. That is, if you’re doing it right and you know what you’re doing.

You might wonder what all is needed to quote someone for a proper funnel project after the initial call with the prospect.

Here’s a quick list:

  • Market research.
  • Funnel hacking of competitors to see a potential marketing angle we could take for your project.
  • Existing social media landscape analysis.
  • Overall existing and potential traffic analysis.
  • Target audience research and analysis.
  • Coming up with ideas for testing potential marketing hooks.
  • Taking inventory if the client has all the assets needed to proceed and create a proper funnel or, if there would be any hold ups (like i.e. there’s a need for creating a teaser video, etc.).
  • Deciding on a funnel type.
  • Etc.

Most funnel builders and/or agencies spend hours and hours to put together a proper proposal for a client.

IF they are not yet charging for creating a price estimate and a proposal for the prospective clients, they are not only leaving money on the table but are not serving their clients at the highest levels.

Prices for such cost estimates from what I’ve seen can range from: $250 up to $5,500.

It’s up to the service provider if he discounts the client the price of the proposal once the client decides to continue working with the service provider.

Who is the funnel consultant?

If you are a funnel consultant of any type that is reading this right now, there are certainly a few common price ranges I can establish for you.

I’ll try my best to be specific with this post but because there are SO many different types of funnel projects you could be working on (like an eCommerce funnel, Book funnel, Digital Course Product sales funnel, B2B Lead Generation funnel, etc.), this is really, really hard.

Well, let’s start by segmenting based on WHO you are working with.

Basically, working with a freelancer will normally be cheaper than working with a marketing agency.

Agencies have more overhead, more padding built in, are more worried about cash flow, and generally just tend to be a bit more on the expensive side.

If you work with an agency, the risk of them falling off the map is generally a little lower, but they probably move a little slower too because they are typically working on numerous projects at once.

Furthermore and when you work with bigger and more established agencies, you’ll have to deal with changing contacts as the project progresses (from sales to design to development to maintenance, etc.).

If you work with a single freelancer, your risks are a bit higher that they might disappear someday.

This means that you want to vet them more carefully and this will be more important than if you decide to work with an agency (big or small).

But freelancers also tend to move much more quickly and don’t juggle as many projects at once. Often times, they even choose to work on one project at a time and that is totally okay if the freelancer knows what he/she is doing and just prefers to work this way.

Additionally, you have the benefit of working with (typically) one person that knows everything about your project the entire time, and you don’t feel like you’re constantly getting bounced around contacts which can happen in some agencies.

Again, for agencies this is totally normal and the most effective way for them to transform a project from conception to completion.

All in all, it is totally possible to have a great relationship with a freelancer or with an agency.

I think it typically depends on the client’s mentality and requirements as to determining which route is better.

In general, freelancers are great for jobs that fit the following criteria:

  • The job is small enough for one person to handle the entire thing (note, most funnel projects fit this category!)
  • The timeline is tight, and you want them to start quickly
  • Communication channels don’t have to be too formal
  • Big contractor agreements don’t have to be signed and the contractor doesn’t need insurance or other common big-business requirements

In general, agencies are better for the following criteria:

  • You don’t want to risk your consultant disappearing
  • You’re okay with a project structure you don’t define (most agencies have established processes you need to be following)
  • You’re okay with a multi-month project (I’d say most agency projects last between 2-6 months)
  • You don’t mind waiting until you can be fit into their schedule to start (often 30-90 days… but great freelancers often have significant backlogs too – so again, it depends)
  • You want a dedicated project manager (some freelancers are phone-call averse, so if you don’t mind that – great!)
  • Your project will require multiple full-time folks working simultaneously, either due to deadlines or huge project scope

Freelancer rates vs Agency rates

First of all, for the sake of this article, I’m going to assume that the funnel project stays in house with the agencies (and is not going to be outsourced or sub-contracted to a third party) and the freelancer is working on the project him-/her-self.

Next, I won’t get into hourly versus project billing and retainers yet.

Most of the time and even if they don’t charge hourly, both the freelancer and the agency has to estimate the amount of hours it will take them to complete the project.

That’s just common business sense because you have to have a feel for how much man power needs to be allocated to create the desired results.

Finally, I’m utilizing these hourly rates as if it’s for billable work and known costs. So, if the rate is $100 per hour and the funel strategy + design will take 50 hours and the development + implementation will take 50 hours and you build in 25 hours for project management, it would be 125 hours and the project would cost $12,500.

Profits, overhead, and everything else are “built in” to the internal hourly rate — just like if someone were billing the client hourly for the work.

Freelancer rates

  • Beginner freelancer: $25-$40 per hour
  • Intermediate freelancer: $40-75 per hour
  • Good, experienced freelancer: $75 – $125 per hour
  • Excellent, in demand freelancer: $125 – $175 per hour
  • Specialist, best in industry: $175 – $400 per hour

Agency rates

  • Small market general agency: $50 – $75 per hour
  • Medium market general agency: $75 – $115 per hour
  • Medium market reputable agency: $115 – $150 per hour
  • Medium market high end agency: $150 – $175 per hour
  • Medium market best in industry agency: $175 – $225 per hour
  • Large market reputable agency: $150 – $175 per hour
  • Large market high end agency: $175 – $250 per hour
  • Large market best in industry agency: $200 – $275 per hour

When I say “best in industry”, I’m referring to an agency that’s made a name for itself in regard to something specific — maybe high-end Clickfunnels websites, or they are famous for doing certain types of funnels for certain industries/markets/target audiences extremely well. It depends.

When I talk market size, I mean the difference between working in big towns or small cities (small market), cities that are thriving but not huge are medium market, or the type of city that’s got pro sports teams and 1 million+ people which would be a large market.

Not listed, but notable, are the mega-markets like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco types. I’m sure you can pay as much as you desire for services in such places!

Also, these are all guesses.

Please, please, please don’t take these guesses as offense if you think I’m totally off. I’m purely trying to paint a picture of the landscape for you, as best as I see and have experienced it of my 5.5 years of running a marketing agency in this industry :).

You see, I talk to a lot of people. I read a ton – offline and online. I interview a ton of experts on my podcast. I go to numerous conferences throughout the year.

Therefore, I think I have a decent take on the market and how it has been developing these past 5.5 years. And I think, this is a practical range to work with, especially if you feel totally lost on this topic (I hope not anymore!).

Consultants break their own rules all the time

Freelancers and agencies though break their own rules all the time. It’s just part of the game.

For example, say you’re contacted by a big brand and your absolute dream client. In order to have a competitive edge and bid out all the other competitors, a consultant can end up lowering his/her rates by a third (or even more).

Also when working with referrals, the numbers get changed at times and don’t add up anymore to what I’ve previously listed.

Consultants may also charge less if a client continues to work with them over and over again on new funnel projects. Or, they will offer a special pricing if you sign a monthly retainer with them for up to six months or even a year. Naturally, this varies by consultant.

Who is the client?

The client is always a huge factor in price. In short, if I estimate that a client is going to be difficult (based off of our past conversations and communication) and I still decide to take on the client because I believe in his project so much, it can affect the ‘client multiplication effect’ I put on the overall project cost. The same is true the other way round.

What is a ‘client multiplication effect’?

Well, I’m so glad you asked!

Over a number of years now, my team and I started to pick up on certain client qualities that end up well,… costing money.

Here is only a short list of some things that can get expensive:

  • The client doesn’t have one point of contact (instead, multiple people always have to be looped into communication and are needed to make one decision)
  • The client has to get some form of committee or industry approval (think non-profit organizations and the financial industry)
  • The client contact isn’t decisive, or doesn’t seem capable to play the “consultant advocate” role well internally
  • The client has a lot of red tape for decision making
  • The client’s payment schedules are really bad (as in, I might not get paid for work I’ve done for weeks or even months and hence, everything is put on hold!)
  • The client contact is prone to huge, essay-long email threads over small issues with a project
  • The client contact wants daily or frequent phone calls or hour-long meetings
  • The client doesn’t have a clear business plan, constantly changes who he wants to be targeting in the first place and will require a lot of advising and hand-holding along the way

As you can tell, all of these are client-related issues and people or organizational matters. They have little to do with the actual project itself.

Let’s say the work for a project will be around $15,000. I usually add up the estimated ‘client multiplication effect’ by looking at these and similar qualities that could end up getting costly from a project management perspective and apply them to the overall cost.

In a $15,000 project, it’s not uncommon for $3,000 of that to be actual project management costs.

If I decide there are enough concerns to warrant 50% higher project management costs, the project gets a $2,500, or 12.5%, increase in overall project cost.

Looking for client qualities that trigger higher costs is vital as a consultant!

And for potential clients out there and reading this right now: keep in mind that your qualities (organizational and behavioral) affect your consultant’s price and potentially, even his/her performance.

Costs ranges for different types of funnels

There are many types of funnels for various industries (I’ve actually never even heard of an industry where it wouldn’t be beneficial to use a funnel as part of their marketing), and each has their own potential costs associated.

The many different types of funnels

I tend to rank sites in complexity like this:

  • Email opt in funnel: A funnel that has the purpose of building someone’s email list online. Typically, we have an opt in page where something of value is offered for free in exchange for an email address. Then, there is a subsequent thank you page with a possible up-sell or other follow up page.
  • Webinar or online presentation funnel: This is a funnel often used across industries and the primary purpose is to sell a higher-ticket item or, to pre-prep and pre-qualify people and get them on a call with you.
  • Online sales funnel: This can be used to sell digital products of any kind. It’s usually full of up-sells, down-sells, etc. Regardless of, if you’re ‘funneling’ people down to a membership site or to a core offer with up-sells, the difficulty level for such a project is around the same.
  • B2B lead generation funnel: B2b lead generation requires a bunch of things to be integrated with a few funnel sites. Typically, there are bots involved to optimize the lead generation and more.
  • eCommerce funnel: These types of funnels usually require a bunch of outside integrations plus configurations, as well as custom coding due to order counts, etc. There are also a bunch of up-sells and down-sells involved.
  • Podcaster funnel: This is a funnel that is mainly designed for existing podcasters to accelerate your podcast’s success, extend your reach and monetize on your audience.
  • A whole funnel network: Take any one of the previous funnels and think of creating an entire online network with any number of those. This project is the most extensive and time-consuming one.

The hours it takes to build these different types of funnels can vary tremendously; it depends on the consultant’s experience, whether they’ve done similar work before in a particular or related niche, how many “gotchas” appear in the project, how particular the client is about any given funnel step, etc.

However and in my opinion, there are a few key concepts about pricing.

Pricing concepts

Generally, I try to estimate and evaluate the following before I can wrap my head around how much it’s going to cost and how long it will take before we see results.

  • Does the client have an engaged social media following? How does it look like and how engaged/big is it?
  • Does the client have a big paid advertisement budget or rather not?
  • If the client has an existing website, how many unique views a month on his/her website are there?
  • Has the client proven the HOOK of his product he/she is planning on selling?
  • Does the client have an attractive character for his brand and a relatable, engaging brand story that we can use for marketing?
  • Is the client’s product OFFER strong enough or, will we have to work on it?
  • Has the client sold online before and if so, how many unites on a regular daily/weekly and monthly basis?
  • Has the client used a funnel before or, is this his/her first one?

There are a few more identification factors but these are pretty much the most important ones. In case I forgot any, be sure to leave a comment down below.

Now, why is getting this information important?

Well, the client can have a big advertisement budget and an active, engaged social media following plus he/she could have sold online the product before (so it’s a ‘proven sell’). As a result, we will be able to see conversions and a return on investment really quickly with any funnel we’d built for such a client.

If the client has no active social media following, a very small paid advertisement budget and has just launched a brand-new product that has no social proof yet, it is going to take any funnel consultant much longer to get you conversions, in essence.

I hope I was able to illustrate with these two extremes what a funnel consultant is able to do for you and where he/she might be struggling.

Creating and implementing a funnel for a business is not a magical wand swish. It is rather an amplification of how well a business is currently doing and a helping system to take it to the next level.

Let’s Talk Pricing Content

With Clickfunnels (or pretty much any other funnel building software), for example, you can add as many funnel pages as you want. The more funnel pages a marketing strategy might require, the more complex the new project will be. However, again, ‘more pages’ do not mean ‘more effective’ (in terms of ROI).

A funnel with, for example, 3 pages can be way more effective than a funnel with 12 pages. Again, it depends on the client, market and the overall strategy your funnel consultant comes up with.

Now, before sending out a proposal (or understanding the one from your funnel consultant) there are typically a lot of individual factors that you want to take into consideration with:

  • Has the funnel strategy be done before-hand or will it be created as part of the project?
  • How many integrations are needed (think email marketing softwares, etc.)?
  • What software will be used to implement the funnel?
  • Are there any particular specifications or wishes in regards to the design?
  • If copy is included in the funnel project proposal or, will the copy for the funnel pages be provided by the client?
  • If paid advertisement (in the form of Facebook Ads, Youtube Ads, etc.) will be covered as well and in what shape or form? We’re talking how many campaigns, re-targeting campaigns, audience research, you name it.
  • If organic social media marketing is included or, done by the client or, another freelancer?
  • Are emails included or not?

These are just some quick thoughts on content of a funnel proposal. There are more, but this is a great starting point.

Side note: Digital assets of any kind are typically always provided by the client.

Custom design vs a pre-built theme

You may have noticed I have not once brought up the question of whether the funnel is built using custom design or with a pre-built distributed software theme (regardless of funnel software you choose to use).

Honestly, funnels cost money for many reasons far beyond the base styles.

In my 5.5 years of being in this business, I can honestly say that the effectiveness in terms of R.O.I. of a funnel has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that a template was used or the funnel was custom built.

If a funnel consultant knows what he/she is doing, they know that focusing on things like nailing the marketing message, the flow of the offers and offer value itself – are things (among many others) that are way more important than answering the question if a pre-built theme should be used or the funnel should be custom designed.

Pricing remains hard

Are you confused yet? Good.

Pricing is tough. Really. Tough.

People write books on this subject and teach courses about it for different industries and consultants to no end. I’ve written over 3,000 words thus far and I’m not even sure if I’ve done it any justice at all. But bear with me.

Custom funnel prices

Okay, so after all of this information, how much is it really?

Hopefully now you realize it could be… anything.

People are not kidding when they say $1,000 or even $1,000,000 (or more!). Yes, I’ve honestly heard and seen it all!

However, in the interest of being helpful, I think here are some “ballparks” to consider:

Can you get a custom funnel for under $1,000? Yes, but be very careful and know your risk of getting something imperfect is really high.

If you work with a good freelancer who understands funnel marketing, I think ~70% of custom funnels for average folks and average businesses will cost between $3,000 and $15,000.

If you work with a good agency in a medium market, I think ~70% of custom funnels for average folks and average businesses will cost between $8,000 and $75,000.

This difference from freelancers is because larger companies and ‘bigger entrepreneurs’ will naturally gear toward agencies and agencies will be less likely to take on smaller projects if they can take on the bigger ones instead.

That said, some agencies love the small jobs, because they get really good over time at doing quality work for a very particular niche in less time than the competition.

If you work with say the best in business freelancer for doing specific funnels in a specific niche and that’s what he/she is sought after, you’ll probably spend between $10,000 and $105,000+. The freelancer you work with will probably utilize a team of other subcontractors in this scenario, because it’s rare for someone to truly deliver all the things you need running solo. And that freelancer will know exactly what is needed.

If you work with a best in business agency to build something special (regardless of funnel type), you’ll probably spend between $15,000 and $500,000+. Most agencies will self-perform the work, and often times you can expect them to be available for retainer contracts, hosting / maintenance agreements, and other long-term relationship style services included in such a proposal.

It’s also worth noting that in large projects, it’s very common to break them into multiple projects and phase them.

This is very typical with seven-figure clients, and in these scenarios it’s not uncommon for some agencies to have multi-million dollar per year clients, whether billed by project, profit share or retainer, or a combination of all.


Please note: I wrote this post for three audiences:

  1. Clients looking to hire a funnel consultant, and not knowing what to consider when comparing costs.
  2. Funnel consultants that are still trying to wrap their head around pricing.
  3. Me, because my team and I have been building funnels for years, and we’re honestly not even close to having it down.

I hope this has helped you and I apologize if it offended you in any shape or form.

If you have more to add, I’d love to hear more about it in the comments down below.


P.S.

If you are a funnel consultant (or aspiring one) and you’ve loved this article and want to dive even deeper into the concept of pricing, sales and more, check out the Funnel Pro Academy. All the info you could possibly want or need is inside this membership site.

For more info, click here: https://funnelproacademy.com

9 Juicy Key Takeaways From Funnel Hacking Live 2019

This year’s funnel hacking live has proven to be a true rollercoaster of emotions for myself and the team.

Scared. Excited. Overwhelmed. Empowered. Energized. Tired. Jet-lagged. Sad. Happy. Fun. Thoughtful. And more.

These are only a few of the words I’d use to describe the conference.

For some reason, I’ve felt more anxiety towards this year’s Funnel Hacking Live than the previous one before.

You see, every time the day for such a conference comes around that you attend on a regular basis, you think about ALL the things you haven’t done *yet*.

The things you told yourself last year you’d have accomplished by now.

In short, you focus pretty much on ‘lack’. Instead on focusing on all the stuff you did do.

Well, at least that’s the case for me. Can you relate :)?

Anyway, as soon as the conference started though and by the second day, I was in full-on conference empowerment mode.

I absolutely adored meeting a few of my Funnel Pro Academy students as well as past and current clients. Plus, I got to meet some people I truly respected and looked up to in the industry and some awesome new peeps as well.

The networking is what made this conference truly a success!

But if you’re reading this right now, I’m taking it that you’re curious because you might have not had the chance to attend this year.

{Side note: If that’s the case, I want to see you there next year <3! It’s such an experience and a true adventure!}

So, without further ado, here are a few of the juiciest takeaways my team and I were able to take away from the Funnel Pro Academy sessions and workshops:

Number 1: Troubleshoot.

If your funnel ain’t working, it’s almost always due to one of these three thing: Hook, Story, Offer.

If you nail the hook, tell a more engaging story or create a killer offer, your audience won’t have another choice than to buy from you!

Remember: The hook is what grabs the attention, the story helps to connect on an emotional level and the offer is where the value is communicated and sold.

With Viral Sensation & The Queen Of Social Media <3, Rachel Pedersen.

Number 2: Funnel Hacking.

This term can be so confusing for newbies to the digital marketing and funnel world.

But during Funnel Hacking Live, the man himself – Russell Brunson – defined ‘funnel hacking’ in the best way I’ve personally ever heard it:

Funnel Hacking is all about identifying patterns of success!

In essence, all you want to be doing is identify patterns in your niche and industry of what’s already working. Cool :)?

With the awesome founders of MarketingMinds & fellow Austrians #austriansrule ;).

Number 3: Language & Stories Sell.

Always focus on simplifying your marketing language that you use to communicate offers with your audience.

People don’t understand ‘smart’ lingo but simple and to the point – wins every day :).

Not only that, you want to package your marketing message into a story. Always. Why? Because STORIES SELL! Since the beginning of time, people have communicated by telling each other stories.

Stories are the thing that will make us feel emotion and connect with each other – more so than any other form of communication out there.

If you’re having trouble coming up with a great copy that tells a story, regardless of your email newsletters, social media posts, videos for your landing page, your sales page copy and more – I’ve got the solution for you.

It’s a cool, secret software I use myself to craft a ton of copy I use as an online business owner on a daily basis. You can learn more about it HERE.

Learn how to write compelling copy, 
fast and easy with this secret software.
With Yesim Saydan from Turkey and the founder of Your Social Media Expert.

Number 4: Voice.

As you work on finding your voice in the online space, your people will find you. Powerful, isn’t it?

You just have to go out and work on finding your voice and you do this by creating content.

With George Bryant, New York Times Bestseller and founder of Civilized Cavemen.

Number 5: Funnel Growth.

You don’t need to have your entire value ladder figured out. Heck! Even people who have plenty of working funnels and have been in this industry for years don’t know their value ladder 100%.

The ideal approach you want to take here is to GROW WITH YOUR CUSTOMER.

LISTEN TO THEM. AND AFTER YOU’VE DONE THAT, CREATE OFFERS & PROGRAMS THAT WILL ALLOW THEM TO STEP UP TO THE NEXT LEVEL.

That’s it!

Part of the Funnel Hacking Live ‘German Connection’ this year (Jan Kutchera, Thorsten Bastian from BastaMedia, Fabian Isele – Affiliate Marketer Extraordinaire) plus, with our Australian bossbabe – Aly Swan :).

Number 6: Stories Sell.

We’ve all got some stuff that happened in our lives that we aren’t proud of. A strong message this year at Funnel Hacking Live was to turn your mess into your message.

How so?

When you allow yourself to open up and go deep, get vulnerable while showing your audience how you’ve learned from this experience – this is one of THE most powerful stories you can tell to get people to know, like and trust you.

With my brother, the Network Marketing Genius in Europe and founder of BuildYourLegacy.

Number 7: Customer Relationships.

Want to know the 2 major reasons why your customers stop buying from you? Yes? I thought so :).

Here they are:

(1) You offend them.

(2) You stop selling them or stop making them offers in any shape or form.

With Connie Pak, Director of Marketing at Futurproof Marketing.

Number 8: Social Media Challenge Rules.

Whenever you want to run a challenge, these are a few rules to stick to to make sure your challenge is going to be a success:

(1) Topic of the challenge should be simple and believable.

(2) Get your challenge participants results fast.

(3) Timing for the challenge should not exceed 30 days.

(4) The optimal price point for a challenge offer is around $37 to $97.

With Rachel S. Lee, Affiliate Marketer & Dream-car Winner at Rachel S. Lee.

Number 9: Mindset.

Some of my absolute favorite sayings from this conference have been:

“You can always make up in leverage what you lack in ability.”

“We don’t believe what we say we believe, we only believe what we do.”

And, “Wealth has a need for speed.”

I hope you liked this digestible summary of some of my main takeaways from Funnel Hacking Live :). If you did, be sure to SUBSCRIBE to this blog and/or comment.

The Funnel Pro Academy is going to open again for a limited time soon! Don’t miss out on joining this world-class community of funnel pros. The content inside the membership site is for experienced funnel builders, marketing agency owners & freelancers or, those who still dream of becoming their own boss ;).

For more information, check out our site here:

https://funnelproacademy.com/waitlist

The 10 Mistakes People Make On Fiverr That Keeps Their Account From Becoming Successful

A little while ago, I received an email from a new student of mine from my digital course program Fiverr With Focus, what I considered being the TOP 10 mistakes that I see sellers make on Fiverr that hinders their success.

I thought that this was such a great question that I decided to make an article out of the initial email I sent her.

So, let’s dive straight into the ten things that I keep seeing that new and already experienced (but not successful) Fiverr sellers and often times Freelancers on different platforms make on a regular basis.

1) Focus on a fast turn-around rather than a quality delivery of services.

Some sellers want again want to find the easy way out. They get on Fiverr with the silent hope that it is going to substitute right away the income of their dreaded job or that they can sell services on Fiverr that they think are relatively easy but well, that no one needs.

Or, they sell services on Fiverr that are fast but that they are not even good at. What follows is frustrated reviews from buyers, cancelled orders or being stuck selling basic $5 gigs.

Facit: If you can’t provide something, don’t freaking do it. You hurt your own reputation with not only it but also the reputation of Fiverr overall!

2) Don’t communicate with a buyer like a human being.

This one always surprises me. I am especially surprised by the flood of sellers who do this. Most of them treat messages they get from potential buyers like robots. They write back in a non-personal way, don’t even answer all the questions that a customer asked or respond in a taciturn fashion.

Facit: One of the biggest points that I continuously touch on in my course and that I want my students to take away from is to focus on proper communication. Communication is even more important when you can not see, smell or hear the person. As a result, they have to work extra hard sometimes to endear a potential new buyer to them and make him/her trust them.

3) Too much time wasted on unethical buyers.

Now, this one is a bit controversial because it goes against what I said in the previous point. But hear me out.

Some sellers can take communications too far. Believe it or not. And I think that most of this…desperation to get a sale can result for some sellers on Fiverr that they need the money.

Now, most of you know that just focusing on making a purchase or getting a new client without actually taking a closer look at the job or the person that wants to buy from you, can result in hours and hours of frustrating verbal ping pong.

Not only that, you can run into a buyer that is unethical him-/her-self and as a result, you end up getting lots of complaints from him/her and demands for further revisions of the work you have already delivered.

Because you might really need the money, you continue to stay in this toxic relationship with a demanding buyer.

Facit: I guess that one of the main reasons why you went on Fiverr is not only to be able to make money online or build up a second income but because you wanted to get a feeling for what it means to be your own boss. So, treat your Fiverr account like a business and if there is a customer messaging you that you think would not be a GOOD FIT for you and the services you can offer him/her, do not enter a buying-selling relationship with that person. Save yourself a headache. It’s as simple as that.

4) Don’t treat their Fiverr account as a business.

I have already touched on this point throughout my previous one. A lot of new Fiverr sellers do not operate their Fiverr account as a ‘business’.

Instead, they are waiting for someone to tell them what they can or can not do; or they forget to fulfill an order once confirmed that they can do it; or they say they can communicate in a particular language only that it turns out later that they do not understand what the buyer wants from them, etc.

Facit: There are two things that are important here:

a ) Fiverr is a global marketplace. As a result, be aware of cultural differences as well as possible language barriers. If you keep this in mind and then, decide accordingly to take on a gig or not and communicate clearly, you won’t have any problems.

b ) If someone buys a gig from you, then it is your responsibility to deliver that service and order. The tricky thing is that if someone just sees Fiverr as a ‘hobby’ to just play around a bit, he/she is making Fiverr sellers bad for someone else who decided to purchase a service from a hobbyist. Do you see the difference? Please, don’t be irresponsible but see it as your mini-business and a chance to build your name as an expert in a certain field.

5) Not following through with the delivery of a client’s order.

Yep! If you decide to become a Fiverr seller, and you put up gigs for purchase, then it is your responsibility to deliver.

If you do not think that you can deliver an order, if the buyer has not ordered the appropriate extras, whatever it is, communicate and make the customer aware of it.

Facit: Don’t accept a purchase and then, not deliver. It will look bad on all Fiverr sellers, and it will hurt your account because you will get a negative review and/or a cancellation and slowly potential buyers won’t have any trust in you and your account anymore.

6) Dismissing the importance of capturing your service offerings with video.

Video has become truly an essential marketing element – and not only on Fiverr.

A video is an excellent way to directly speak to your potential clients and customers!

It gives them a chance to see who they are working with and to get to know them a little bit.

Not only that, it will set you apart from your competition because there is essentially no one like you. You are unique, and a video directly gives you a way to prove that.

Facit: Not taking your account seriously on Fiverr and doing just the minimum to sell potentially your gigs on Fiverr will also just get you that – a mediocre outcome.

Side Note: If you feel like you don't know how to take cool and professional-looking home videos, this article might help you: https://corneliapauline.com/2018/03/17/5-simple-yet-effective-ways-to-create-professional-videos-from-home/

7) Uploading low-quality images to account that don’t fit the sizing requirements.

This point goes back to not treating Fiverr as your business.

Think about it. Nowadays, would you purchase anything from a site that features absolutely shitty and distorted images?

Probably not. You would be like, “I think I’ll pass on this one.”

And not only that. You would probably be wondering why that person did not take the time to upload excellent high-quality images, correct?

Facit: With all the technology out there nowadays there is really no excuse for you to use randomly any image that you have on your desktop. Instead, truly think about it what impression it is that you want to give your future buyers. Is it an impression of unprofessionalism, or do you want them to see that you know what you are doing and that you are meticulous?

8) Lack of social media promotons of one’s gigs.

Unless you were one of the very first sellers on Fiverr (and I’m guessing since you’re reading this you are not), you can not open up an account and put up a few gigs and think that you are going to get a lot of purchases.

I talk about this in my course Fiverr With Focus over and over again that, especially when you first start out, you have to build up your account first by getting reviews and starting to make a name for yourself.

Furthermore, you have to take the initiative. It is truly like with any other business, for your business – or your Fiverr account – to become successful, you want people to find out about you.

A really great way to do that is through sharing your account, gigs, work you have delivered, etc.on your social media accounts.

Make it know that you are on Fiverr and what it is that you are selling on there.

Facit: Don’t just lean back after opening up your account and create a few gigs and expect that magic is going to happen. It is like with everything in life; you have to take ACTION and put yourself out there.

9) Lacking a clear description of their services.

This one is mostly true for sellers from different countries and whose English is not up to par with what you would expect from an international seller on Fiverr.

However, often, I see very poorly written gig descriptions a lot of the times from American Fiverr sellers as well.

This ties in with having low-quality images displayed on your gig’s site. It almost makes us as a potential buyer think, that you are not taking this seriously.

After all, you wouldn’t send out a resume to a potential employer with lots of grammar mistakes, correct? So why not proofread a few times your account and gig descriptions?

Facit: Descriptions full of mistakes or in broken English will have a drastic impact on your sales or will result in no sales at all. If you are having troubles with this, you can always hire an experienced editor off of Fiverr ;).

10) Secretly, believing success on Fiverr to be impossible for whatever reason.

Or, in other words, not believing in yourself.

It is truly sad for me to see but there are always a few new Fiverr sellers who have the secret hope for something to change in their lives, who had some motivation to open up their account and create a few gigs, but then it is almost like they are blocking themselves.

They think negatively about everything (instead of strategic and logical like a business person), and start sabotaging themselves not only with their attitude but by almost attracting dishonest or difficult clients, or being afraid to ask for more money for their services because they can not see the worth in their skills.

Facit: If this is you and you are struggling with this, I recommend to check out the book Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. I continue to tell my students about it as well (and particularly the ones fighting to get their Fiverr account rolling), because a lot of the times it is really you who has to change. And not only by the actions you take but also by the thoughts you think.

 

I hope that this was helpful. Let me know in the comments section down below! If you’re an existing successful Fiverr seller and think I forgot about a mistake you see that other not-so-successful Fiverr sellers make, please let me know as well in the comments down below.

P.s. If you like to download my FREE 10-step roadmap to freelancer success on Fiverr, click here: https://fiverrwithfocus.com/welcomefwf

THE ULTIMATE ENTREPRENEUR’S TOOLKIT

Welcome to the ultimate entrepreneur’s toolkit! {This content may contain affiliate links which may result in my being financially compensated for purchases site visitors make through said links.}

As a full-time, location-independent digital entrepreneur / boss babe or girl boss / occasional work-from-home business owner and wife of an amazing while simultaneously adorable husband and fellow business owner, we’ve got quite a few tricks up our sleeves when it comes to growing our businesses online ;).

Not to mention that since a good part of our income comes from our service-based business of being so-called ‘Funnel Hackers’ which allowed us to work with ALL sorts of clients from various industries and markets, we’ve literally tried pretty much every tool available out there as of the time of this blog article.

Now, I’ve rounded up our absolute faves that we (and/or our clients and fellow entrepreneur friends <3) could not live without. They work like a charm and will make that online business life so much easier for you. Whether you’re just starting out as a business owner or, you’ve been in the game since no one knew what a blog or a Facebook was, I think you’ll LOVE these tools!

Scroll down to see the entire list and fill out this form if you want the list sent to your inbox so you never lose it!

WEBSITE / BLOG / ONLINE SHOP

Blog / Website

Online shop

Membership / Course

EMAIL MARKETING

SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULING TOOLS

  • AgoraPulse (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin scheduling) – Smarter social media scheduling so that your content is distributed at the right times for maximum engagement and exposure.
  • Tailwind – Schedule Pinterest pins and loop them to repost. Join tribes. Excellent way to utilize Pinterest. CLICK HERE FOR FREE CREDIT –> (also allows Instagram scheduling but I d not use that feature because they’re still testing it)
  • Planoly – schedule Instagram posts and stories from your desktop and phone
  • People Map (not for scheduling) – Robust system to find Instagram users and influencers and analyze their accounts, run campaigns.

STOCK PHOTO / DESIGN

  • Unsplash – Beautiful free stock photos
  • Design Pickle – Design service monthly subscription
  • Canva – Quick and easy do it yourself design. Love this for Pinterest Pin images
  • WordSwag – App (for iOS & Android) add text to your photos Pinterest / Instagram images
  • Creative Market – IG Stories highlight graphics, IG Story templates, Fonts, designs, keynote slides…. everything!!

TECH TOOLS / SOFTWARE

  • Zoom – Webinars, meetings, interviews live streamed to Facebook
  • Live chat – live chat feature on your shop or sales page
  • Trello – Team and project organization
  • Zapier – Connects your services like a charm! Most systems will integrate with each other but this can fill in wherever they can’t.
  • Deadline Funnels – Add urgency to your marketing campaigns, automated countdown timers to provide each of your visitors with a uniquely, timed experience. Super cool tool. TRY IT FOR FREE HERE.
  • FunnelScripts – A to Z copywriting plug and play system help for every kind of online entrepreneur and business owner. Struggle with writing? This is the software for you.
  • Funnelish – Best way to directly build Paypal into a Clickfunnels’ order form to maximize international payment conversions.
  • ClickMagick – Track, analyze and optimize all of your marketing and particularly, your sales funnels. Dare I say, better than Google Analytics :).

OFFICE TOOLS / SUPPLIES

For going live / recording video

Side Note: If you'd like to learn more about recording professional videos right from your home even if you feel like you don't know what you're doing *yet*, check out my related blog post about this ;). You can read it here: https://corneliapauline.com/2018/03/17/5-simple-yet-effective-ways-to-create-professional-videos-from-home/

Paper / Pens / Planners

OUTSOURCING

MUST-READ BOOKS

  • Expert Secrets – Especially, if you want to build up an expert-based business of any kind and need to figure out how to do that.
  • DotComSecrets – The bible for anyone that wants to start an online business of any kind.
  • Profit First – As a business owner, you NEED to get your finances under control. Going through this book will help you do so.
  • Essentialism – Sometimes we just forget the important things with all the ‘busy work’. This book will help you focus.
  • Think And Grow Rich – It’s all about the mindset, babe 😉
  • Girl, Wash Your Face – Just because I adore Rachel Hollis <3

FREE DIGITAL RESOURCE TOOLS BY YOURS TRULY

Do you have any favorites you don’t see here? Let me know in the comments below!

P.s. If you'd like to download this entire ENTREPRENEUR'S TOOLKIT & save a copy on your desktop, you can do so simply by going here: http://bit.ly/entrepreneurs-toolkit

 

3 Things You Can Learn from Gary Vee about Online Lead Generation

If you’re an entrepreneur or online marketer looking to take your business and social media influence to the next level, you need to be following the entrepreneurial guru, Gary Vee (in case you aren’t yet).

Not only is Gary a genuinely good guy to follow but rather, his hyper-effective method for lead generation is worth watching and learning from.

Gary has a solid system in place for delivering content on a large scale.

And if you’re currently trying to run a business, then you know that delivering content is KEY. Getting the attention of potential customers is important, but keeping it is crucial.

Side note: In case you’re struggling with creating content on a large scale and don’t have a system in place, check out my latest Youtube Video where I share with you my best content creation hacks:

So, what can we learn from Gary now and how can we potentially adopt his methods for our business as well?

Versatility

Well, first off. Gary Vee is virtually everywhere.

He repurposes his content and posts on literally every possible platform available, so that anyone online, regardless of what they’re using, can find and follow him.

If needed, he will tweak his content to fit the platform best (caption, style, etc.) but that level of versatility is something to note if you’re trying to reach a wider audience.

Gary doesn’t wait for his followers to come find him. He puts his brand and his message everywhere. Knowing that getting attention is as good as making a sale, Gary doesn’t waste any time spreading his message anywhere he can, cross-promoting as much as possible.

But he doesn’t just show up everywhere with the same content.

It can be tempting to use a social media scheduler to post one piece of content to all of your social media accounts, but go take a look at Gary’s content. You’ll notice that he varies his videos, images, captions, and thumbnails depending on the platform!

For example, Instagram is a different platform with a different audience than Facebook.

So, the content needs to be appropriate for that platform. Instagram loves bright colors and aesthetic images. Facebook loves sharable content with videos and personal messages. The same idea applies to YouTube, Pinterest, and so on.

Know each platform, and treat them differently.

It doesn’t mean you need to do ten times the work. Notice how Gary repurposes his content for each platform to increase engagement. He’s tuned in to each network and uses them to engage with followers and grow his business.

Personal Brand

Speaking of versatility, Gary can be found all over the internet, adapting to whatever platform he is on, but no matter where he is, one thing never changes: his personal brand.

Tying your personal brand to your public persona across the board will inevitably draw in clients.

Remember how I mentioned attention?

Well, having a strong brand means that the attention you grab will become familiar to potential followers. If they see your brand on various platforms, they will be more likely to follow you, which will result in more leads, funneling into your business.

Trust plays a big part in personal brand too.

People will learn that they can trust you when they see the consistency in your online presence. Gary does a great job of maintaining a personal touch on his brand, not only with his face, but also with his signature.

A strong personal brand will mean followers begin feeling familiar with you and your business. And with influencer marketing, people love to follow, purchase, and share content from someone they know and trust.

Lead Magnets

If you find Gary Vaynerchuck online, on any of his various platforms, you will be invited to join his mailing list and his VIP First-in-Line service, which brings his potential clients to Facebook. He’s basically offering them a direct line to contact him, which is a great attention grabber.

All of these leads eventually funnel into his larger businesses, whether it be his mentorship program or public speaking engagements. So, he’s giving something away for free to gain a large return.

But it’s not just email marketing.

Gary makes sure that once he has your attention, he keeps it. He targets his ads to people who have already watched his videos or clicked on his profile. And once he’s on your timeline, he’s offering you fresh content, promoting his free magnets, and cross-promoting to his podcasts or mentorship programs.

What are you offering your potential followers?

What is the bait leading them to your email list and is it enough?

Are you following up that lead with something to keep your audience’s attention?

You might be thinking that Gary Vee is working on a much larger scale than you are.

He’s attracting these massive businesses, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn something from his marketing strategies. He is using lead magnets, his personal brand, and publishing versatile content to reach his target audience the same way that you can learn to do.

No matter what you take from Gary’s style, one thing you can definitely learn is that Gary knows his strengths and makes them work for him. For him, it’s public speaking.

What is your strength in your marketing?

Don’t just try to copy the things that Gary does, but use his success as inspiration to utilize your own strengths. Knowing what you’re good at and what reaches your audience will no doubt grow your presence and your business.

P.S. If you'd like more free daily content and social media marketing tips and how you can apply them to your business, be sure to join my free Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/socialmediafunnelhacks/

The 5 best sales funnel strategies to use for your eCommerce business

My team and I get asked this a lot… what is the BEST sales funnel strategy for eCommerce business?

ECommerce is a beast on its own. There are so many moving pieces that need to fit neatly into place for any eCommerce business to be a success.

From the right email marketing strategy to organic marketing, branding and P.R., social proof in the form of reviews, SEO and SEM, paid social media traffic strategies, customer service, product delivery, etc.

Yep. It’s a lot.

Now, I like to always focus on the funnel aspect of things.

The main reason for that is is that you have the correct funnel in place with the right messaging, a great hook and you’re showing it to the right audience – boy, that’s one killer combination.

Though, what sales funnel strategy is really the correct one to use for your eCommerce shop?

Well, since there is no one-size-fits-all in my opinion, I wanted to share with you the TOP 5 strategies my team and I have identified after years of research.

Ready? Let’s dive right in.

eCOMMERCE FUNNEL STRATEGY #1: Create brand loyalists.

What would PooPouri, NastyGal and DollarShaveClub be without its raving fans?

Yep, you’ve guessed it. Nothing. Or, not quite what these star eCommerce businesses represent today.

However, there’s a lot more that goes into building your brand and creating brand advocacy among your fans that it might seem.

It can get especially tricky if you’re just starting out building your new eCommerce brand.

Though, these few tips should help.

First of all and as Simon Sinek so famously states, “Start with why!”

Side note: If you haven't read Simon Sinek's book yet with the title, Start With Why, I highly recommend it! You can get it by clicking here ;).

Your shop, your brand, your eCommerce businesses needs to have a point to it. I – as a potential customer – want to know why you’re doing business? What’s your why?

Please keep in mind that the story about your WHY is the ONLY thing that will set your eCommerce business apart from its competition.

If you don’t clearly define and showcase your why on your social media accounts, throughout your email sequences and on your website, you’re just another online retailer (and we wouldn’t want that now, would we?).

Ask yourself, how can I tell my eCommerce business’s ‘why story’ so that customers will get emotionally attached to my brand? You want to ask yourself this because if they’re a part of something greater than themselves, they’re invested in you before your competitor. They will stay with you.

Finally, make sure your story is consistent throughout your marketing. You want to remind people why you’re worth investing in and being a part of.

eCOMMERCE FUNNEL STRATEGY #2: The Pre-Launch Buzz

You can’t launch to crickets. You just can’t.

If you are absolutely NEW to eCommerce and you’re just about to launch your store, you might want to hold off for a bit.

A great strategy to focus on before hurrying and going live with everything, is to build out a pre-launch funnel campaign.

A pre-launch funnel campaign allows you to do two things very well:

[A] Collect email addresses of future customers and fans. 

And remember, I’ve said it on this blog before, I’d say it again – your email list is your currency online.

[B] Build up brand credibility and trust.

Now, I know you’re dying to see an example right now of what such a pre-launch funnel campaign looks like. Well, let’s take Harry’s (*big fan here*), the Saving Company, as an example.

“Our campaigns are built around our belief that the most powerful and effective way to be introduced to our new company was through a credible referral,” writes Co-Founder and CEO Jeff Raider. “Thus, we focused on building a campaign that helped people to spread the word to their friends.”

Such a pre-launch funnel typically only has two steps to it.

STEP 1

STEP 2

In case you might be wondering at this point what to use to create such a funnel and that you are not ready yet to hire a special programmer to code the sites and especially, the referral system for you, then this is what I recommend:

[A] To build a two-step pre-launch campaign funnel in under 30 minutes, use Clickfunnels. You can get a FREE 14-day Trial to the funnel building software here. The software is really easy to use and there is lots of helpful information and templates available that will help you create your funnel in no time.

[B] To create your referral network for your campaign, I recommend using UpViral. It’s also super easy to use and will get you those initial results you’re looking for until you’re ready to hire a custom developer. Try out UpViral now for a special price here.

eCOMMERCE FUNNEL STRATEGY #3: Creative Contests

Let’s say you have already launched your store but you still hear crickets chirping. What do you do?

The quickest way to gain momentum and traction towards your store is to do a contest.

However, word of warning, there is definitely a right and a wrong way to run a contest. You’ve got to really make sure to offer something that is congruent with your brand and that won’t break the bank of your new eCommerce endeavor.

You can use paid social media advertisement, such as paid Facebook or Instagram advertisement, as a traffic source to your contest.

This might look something similar like the contest we ran for a client of ours that just started her eCommerce business:

The great thing and main purpose of such a contest is that you get tons of engagement. You can then, retarget to those people that engaged with your contest ad.

If you are more of a fan of organic social media marketing (or, you are lacking the budget for advertisements at the moment), you can run a contest on i.e. Instagram with a few Instagram influencers.

eCOMMERCE FUNNEL STRATEGY #4: The Free + Shipping Seduction 

Another funnel strategy to get new potential customers into the door is a so-called FREE + shipping funnel. This funnel does not work for every eCommerce business.

For example, if you’re selling $2,000 and up watches on your store, it would not make much sense to get new customers into the door through a FREE + shipping funnel.

If you’re though a store say in the survival niche, than this kind of FREE + shipping offer works really really well and it will build you a big email list of new customers in no time.

You can have some fun with it as well by adding creative bundle up-sells and a down-sell.

By the way, if you’d like a template of our best converting FREE + Shipping funnel, you can get it here.

eCOMMERCE FUNNEL STRATEGY #5: Recurring Revenue

So far, we have mostly been talking about getting people to your eCommerce store.

However, how do you actually get them to buy (and buy on a regular basis)?

You can achieve these in two ways and funnel your new customers further down your eCommerce funnel:

[A] Re-targeting campaigns.

[B] Email marketing.

Let’s look at re-targeting campaigns.

An effective retargeting ad works the best if it includes these three aspects:

  1. The ad is personalized. It addresses the fact that reader is already thinking about buying. The user visited the site before, but something prevented them from moving forward.
  2. The ad focuses on benefits over features. What does the reader stand to gain from taking action, aka buying your product?
  3. It offers an ironclad guarantee. No one wants to commit to something they might not want later. So, be sure to offer a guarantee customers love (and competitors hate).

In regards to email marketing, the most basic thing is to have your abandoned cart emails in place.

For that and to get full copy of our best abandoned cart emails we use, you want to be checking out this related blog article: https://corneliapauline.com/2018/03/06/steal-highest-converting-abandoned-cart-email-sequence/

To find out more about how to improve the conversion rates of your eCommerce newsletter strategies, be sure to SUBSCRIBE to this blog and stay tuned for Part 2 on this topic to be published soon ;).

The Secrets Of The Netflix Sales Funnel

One of the best ways to figure out how to structure your online marketing campaign (regardless of if you’re just starting out or, if you are a multi-million dollar company already)…
Is to look at what some of the most successful companies are doing out there in terms of ‘funneling’ their visitors down and turning them into customers.
Another term for that would be, ‘funnel hacking’.
Ever wondered what ‘funnel hacking’ exactly looks like and how big companies are learning how to best structure their marketing campaigns?
Well, let me dive into the basics for you.
Let’s look at the sales funnel of one of my favorite companies out there at this time and analyze why what they do, works so well.
Hello, Netflix :).
I’m such a Netflix fan and not just because of their cool Netflix Originals such as Stranger Things but also, because I’ve been absolutely in awe at how they have consistently innovated their company so that now, they are pretty much without any real competition (and yes, I think Hulu still have to undergo some changes before they are on Netflix’s current level at the time of this article).
By the way, do you have any favorite Netflix TV shows or movies? If so, leave a comment down below ;).
Okay, let’s dive into it…

Netflix uses a 2-STEP process that invites potential leads to enter the sales funnel via a FREE 1-month trial offer.

© Netflix

Once the user clicks on the CALL TO ACTION button (CTA) for the free month trial, they’re ‘funneled down’ the funnel to the pricing page where different package information is provided. Not only that, they are also encouraged to sign up.
Check it out.

PACKAGE INFO:

© Netflix

CALL TO ACTION:

© Netflix

After selecting a paid plan, Netflix collects EMAIL ADDRESSES for the one-month trial offer participants so they can FOLLOW UP with those who decide to opt-out of the paid plans.

© Netflix

On the next screen, credit card information is collected. This means that everyone who enters the sales funnel and reaches this point technically becomes a PAYING CUSTOMER.
And guess what?
The only way to ‘escape payment’ is to cancel the monthly subscription before the 30 day free trial period ends.
Even then, with the email addresses they’ve collected, they can FOLLOW UP with those who exit the funnel, strategically bringing them back in through re-targeting ads as well as an optimized email sequence.

Why this works:

  • Netflix uses ONE single CTA BUTTON on its Opt-in page that’s placed front and top right for the user to see.
  • Entering the sales funnel through this CTA is basically the ONLY ACTION you can take on the whole page. Any guess work from potential consumers and future customers is taken out because they are only promoted to do 1 thing.
  • A means of follow-up communication is established in Step 2 of the funnel. As a result, there’s always a way to track AND converse with every single potential customer through email.
  • Anyone who makes it through the funnel to claim the FREE one-month trial offer has the potential to be a paying customer (since they are required to pre-select a monthly plan.)

Well, how many of you are using Netflix now?

If you are, you have been ‘funneled’ ;).

Liked this article? Be sure to download the PDF of the steps here if you'd like it and check out the FUNNEL PRO ACADEMY if you want to UP your online funnel game and become a PRO at digital marketing.

How to supercharge your organic growth on Instagram in 2018?

Instagram Marketing Interview with Rachel & Ruben: GAMINtraveler

How to supercharge your organic growth on Instagram in 2018?

Cornelia: Thanks for joining us today. I know you guys are in the Philippines right now and it’s late there, so I appreciate you talking with us.

Now, I know you have close to 130,000 engaged followers on your Instagram account @gamintraveler. Can you tell us when that started?

GAMINtraveler: We started in March of 2016. We took a course and studied Instagram.

At the time, we were doing both, a blog and Instagram, but then we started liking taking pictures and telling a story with Instagram, and with only 10k followers, we started getting endorsements with companies, so it encouraged us to use Instagram more than the blog.

Cornelia: That’s every influencers dream! You’re not only doing it for the travel industry, but you also do it for your clients. What are some industries that you have worked with?

GAMINtraveler: We started working on Instagram to supplement our travel writing. Then we started working with clients such as personal coaches, small businesses, e-commerce brands. It’s a mix of personal brands, depending on the strategy of the business.

Cornelia: In your opinion, is Instagram over-saturated? And why do you think it’s so important for personal brands to build a tribe on Instagram?

GAMINtraveler: Instagram is one of THE fastest growing channels right now.

Compared to Facebook, it is still very possible to grow quickly in 2018. We are hoping that it will continue. We know that it will eventually move to paid advertising, but for now, there are still many strategies to build your brand organically.

I think the oversaturation is a common worry for everyone, but there are always new users. And there are so many new features like stories. And the platform will only continue to grow.

Cornelia: Speaking of stories, a lot of people are confused how to utilize it. What is the benefit to using stories?

GAMINtraveler: There are many benefits to using stories, especially for business.

Now, on Instagram stories, you can add hashtags and locations, which is very simple and helpful. You can show a day in your life and get even more active in your social media. Now with the swipe up, it’s a great way to incorporate links and generate leads!

There is a little limitation with the swipe up feature. You need to have at least 10k followers to be able to use this function. However, one of our favorite features in stories is the poll. It’s a great way to get to know who is watching your stories by asking them questions and getting feedback.

For example, if you’re a personal health coach, you inspire by sharing your morning routine, so it’s a great chance to hold a poll and ask: are you a coffee person or a tea person?

People LOVE to engage in polls because it only takes them a second to answer, as opposed to writing a full message. So, from there, you have an idea on how to start a conversation.

Cornelia: I really like that. You can do free market research because it’s engaging. And you don’t have to have 10k followers to use that.

Let’s talk about daily engagement. What is a good number on how many times per day you should post? And do you have any tips on what you should post?

GAMINtraveler: The short answer – At least once per day.

But if you’re just starting out, posting a lot of content every day will help you to get more likes and engagement.

Right now, Instagram isn’t exactly chronological.

They use an algorithm that makes it so the people whose posts you actively like and comment on will appear higher and more immediate on your feed.

So, if you’re just building your following, posting frequently will give you better a chance of getting more engagement.

Cornelia: Is there such a thing as too much?

GAMINtraveler: In the beginning, 5-7 times a day is good. You want to cover many time zones and just be out there.

When we started, we would check the popular hashtags in our field for people who had posted in the last few minutes. We would comment and engage with these posts so that the people, who we know are active on the app, would come check out who we are.

It can sound like a lot of work, but like any organic marketing, it’s exponential. You have to put the work in in the beginning.

Cornelia: Can you use stock images or do you have to use your own images?

GAMINtraveler: The first thing you should do is decide on what kind of account you want to have, whether it’s personal or business.

If you’re a blogger, you’ll want to focus more on your personal photos, like a fitness blogger might focus on selfies, and a travel blogger might focus on landscapes.

Decide in the beginning what focus you will have on your account.

What worked for us is that we were very sincere. The caption is a good place to play around.

Cornelia: Should posts in your story be separate from your feed?

GAMINtraveler: Definitely.

In the feed, your photos are usually more highly rated. Most people take a little more time on these images, and in stories, you can be a little more raw.

Stories is a playful side.

They’re a chance to show your personality, and in time, you’ll learn what your viewers want to see.

Cornelia: I’ve noticed the great thing about stories is that when I post something like what I’m reading, people can respond by messaging me on more of a personal level because they feel like they know me.

Whereas your feed is more like a business card. Is it okay to cross-post to Facebook or Twitter?

GAMINtraveler: I think the only challenge is that the hashtag is part of the platform.

If you automatically post on Facebook, all of the hashtags will appear, and it might be a little weird. Sometimes we just go into Facebook and edit those hashtags out after it posts.

You also have to be aware of what voice you use in each of your social media accounts so that you can stick with that.

Cornelia: What about the stories? Would it be redundant to post your Instagram stories to Facebook?

GAMINtraveler: Well, you probably have a different audience on Facebook than you have on Instagram. So, you might have to cater your content to your audience.

Cornelia: That’s a good point. Your audience on each platform comes for a different purpose and from a different place.

Speaking of hashtags, how many are allowed? And how many would you recommend?

GAMINtraveler: You’re allowed 30 hashtags on Instagram. We recommend 27-28 and try to change most of them reflecting whatever picture you post. We usually use a specific 7 or 8 hashtags every time.

And you should put the hashtag in the post. For a while, people were hiding them in the comment section, but that doesn’t seem to be working anymore, so it’s best to just put them in the post.

Cornelia: Is it true that Instagram will shadow ban you if you use too many hashtags too much?

GAMINtraveler: We have heard of this happening to accounts that we were watching, so it’s important to change up your hashtags every time. If you post the same hashtags every time, it makes you look more like a bot than a real person.

We always keep in mind that we don’t know 100% what Instagram is trying to do with the platform. So, there’s not strict rules and it’s not like if you’re shadow banned, you’ll be banned forever. Just try to stick to the rules and change your hashtags up.

Cornelia: I know hashtags are a really important way to not only categorize your posts, but also to be found by new followers. Do you have any practice tips for using hashtags?

GAMINtraveler: When posting, if you use very broad hashtags, it will be hard to gain exposure because you will be so far down the list of posts in that collection. But if you find a good combination of niche and broad hashtags, you will have better chances of being found.

Cornelia: How often do you mix up your hashtags?

GAMINtraveler: About every two weeks. We have a set of 6-7 hashtags that we rotate to make sure that we are hitting our target audience.

Cornelia: Are engagement groups still working?

GAMINtraveler: Yes, they are still working if you engage when posting.

For us, networking is at the heart of our strategy. For example, if you’re in travel and you have a group of fellow travel bloggers and travel accounts, you can all post at the same time and engage with each other to gain each other’s followers.

Cornelia: Can you share how to put together an engagement group?

GAMINtraveler: One of the biggest strategies is to network with big accounts, and what we noticed is that once you posted a new picture, when you get engagement in the first half hour, the more engagement you get, and when you get engagement with accounts with high following, then your accounts get more exposure. It can become viral content.

Start hitting people in the DM’s. Send them an awesome first message like,

Hey, I’m a traveler and I’m trying to build engagement group for accounts for people with 50k follower,” and then you can add yourself as the organizer. People don’t want to be organizers, so it’s up to you start it.

Cornelia: How important is it to be original and not just reuse content from other accounts?

GAMINtraveler: For us, we do a mix.

If you’re a new Instagram user and you don’t have a lot of content, there are many feature pages out there that you can repost. Whatever you do, be intentional and give credit to the right people.

To be honest, in the business accounts we grow, reposting is a big part of the strategy. If you see an account that is growing well, and they’re posting a certain type of content, you just need to copy that style. Repurpose that content. Usually, there’s just a trend.

Cornelia: Do you have to reply to every comment?

GAMINtraveler: The faster you can reply, the better. If you reply in the first fifteen minutes, it makes the post stronger and more active.

Something that travel bloggers have been doing is posting in their stories that they will be posting and the people who comment within the first ten minutes will get a shout out. It’s a great way to promote engagement.

If you comment back quickly, your posts get stronger in the algorithm.

Cornelia: Do you use any tools or apps in your IG strategy?

GAMINtraveler: We do. Schedulers are a very important part of our work. If you can schedule out a few days or weeks in advance, it’s more efficient. Trying to post in the moment every day can be difficult. This way you can schedule a lot at once, and it helps with staying consistent.

Command for Instagram is an app that allows you to see the most popular posts in someone’s account. We would use this research in our field for repurposing content. Recently, I think it’s limited to the last two months, but it’s still useful.

Regram is good for reposting very quickly.

Cornelia: When is the best time to change from a personal account to a business account?

GAMINtraveler: With the new changes in Instagram, right now. So many of the 3rd party tools will be limited to show results. You have to be a business account.

If you want to use your insights, you’ll have to be a business account. And you’ll never know when engagement will be good, so it’s best to take advantage of those tools now.

Cornelia: How do you find top accounts?

GAMINtraveler: Start with hashtags.

The Instagram algorithm continues to grow smarter, and if you start interacting with travel content. In your search, you’ll start seeing all of the viral and trending content in your category.

Cornelia: How important is geotagging?

GAMINtraveler: If you’re posting in travel, it can help with getting reposted and find new followers. For example, if you know in advance you know you’ll be posting about Bali, we will do advanced research and know the top posts in Bali and we will tag them in our posts.

In the stories, we will put the location and hashtag in every story. Even if you’re not there, you can be featured in that town. People in that location can find you easier.

Cornelia: Do you have particular tips or strategies for service-based businesses?

GAMINtraveler: You want to think about the target audience. People will gravitate toward motivational content, but that can become saturated, so if you know the type of people you want to attract, research what kind of content they like.

People can get overwhelmed by focusing too much aesthetics, and while that is important, it’s more important to focus on what is trending in your category. Test a lot in the beginning and if something stops working, use the archive feature so that you keep your insights, but the post is no longer visible in your account.

Cornelia: Any last tips and advice?

GAMINtraveler: Do your research and really look at the growing, popular accounts in your niche.

See what the trends are and follow them. If you want to network with people, check the people who are commenting in the first ten minutes. Reach out to them and in time, you’ll be able to build your own engagement groups. They will likely to be inside your circle.

In the beginning there will be a lot of testing, but you’ll have to find the balance between what works for you and what people are connecting with. Focus on your audience. Find your voice.

_____________________________________________________

If you’ve enjoyed this article, be sure to SUBSCRIBE to this blog to be the first one to get notified of new, awesome posts coming to you weekly ;).

Also, you can get in touch with Rachel and Ruben from GAMINtraveler here: Website – http://www.gamintraveler.com/; Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/gamintraveler/

Finally, if you have a growing Instagram following and you’d like to learn how to optimize it for lead generation and really monetize your following, download our case study of how a client of ours made over $23,000 in just 7 days by utilizing her Instagram following: https://funnelgal.com/freecasestudy

P.s. You might also enjoy reading:

How to use social media and blog posts effectively for online lead generation?

How to get your online business GDPR ready?

Or, in other words, making GDPR sexy again

Last week, my entrepreneur friend Jodi Hoffman and I hopped on a Facebook Live Interview and talked about EVERYTHING GDPR.

When I first heard about this term a few months ago, I was so confused.

GDPR or, General Data Protection Regulation?

I was also confused what this would mean for my business.

As a result, we decided to shed some light on this inside my Facebook Groups Community, Social Media Funnel Hacks, as well because I knew that I couldn’t be the only one feeling this way.

Here is the interview and all the things that we talked about.

Enjoy!

Cornelia: Jodi, thanks for being here!

Can share your story with us and why you’re so passionate about this?

Jodi: Of course!

I’m Jodi Daniels.

I’m based in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States, and I spent a nineteen-year corporate career across four big multi-national companies.

Most recently, I was senior vice president at Bank of America as their digital privacy expert. I left last summer to go out on my own and join the online entrepreneur world where I started my own privacy consulting business.

Since then, I have been knee-deep in GDPR. I feel like I eat, breathe, sleep all things GDPR. I’m getting companies from one person to huge multinational companies ready for GDPR.

Why am I passionate? Because I see so much opportunity, and there’s so much confusion that I really help bring everything I’m doing in my everyday world to the mass online audience.

Cornelia: How about we start with the basics?

GDPR might be completely new to someone. How would you explain it in one to three words?

Jodi: GDPR is all about protecting the EU residents’ personal data.

In a conference a couple weeks ago, I heard from the original drafter of the GDPR, and she said that GDPR is all about giving back the rights to and EU resident over their digital data.

Cornelia: I’m curious. What conference was that?

Jodi: The Global Privacy Summit.

3,500 privacy professionals from around the world congregate in Washington D.C. every year to talk about the latest that is happening in privacy, and as you can imagine, it was GDPR, GDPR, and more GDPR.

Cornelia: So many Europeans are very freaked out about it because it does have an effect on your business—if you’re not becoming GDPR compliant.

Jodi: It really does.

I think it’s important to talk about who this affects.

We define it as protecting an EU resident’s personal data, but what if I’m in the US?

Why should I be focused on GDPR?

And that’s because any company around the world that’s processing that data or targeting that person has to comply.

If I have a website and I use my Facebook pixel set to global, and I lure you to set up for my freebie, I just embarked on GDPR world.

Cornelia: Can you tell us more when it comes to online businesses and what the next best step someone has to do right now to prepare for GDPR?

Jodi: Great question.

The first things that you need to know is what kind of data you have and how you are using it. You can’t write a privacy policy if you don’t know those basics.

And to do that, you have to know the definition of personal data because under GDPR, it’s a little different.

It’s not what a lot of people think: name, email, address, financial information.

It’s also online identifiers.

It’s the Facebook pixel, Google analytics pixel, or any other pixel in cookies that you have on your site like IP address.

All of that is included in the definition of personal data.

Based on that, figure out what you are collecting and who you are using it with, such as an email service provider, an agency, vendors, etc.

Once you have that inventory, then you have to work on communicating what it is you’re doing to the person you have coming to your sites and services.

And that’s where the privacy notice comes in.

A privacy notice is a legal document.

It’s the document that is your communication to the user of what you’re collecting, how you’re using the data, who you’re sharing it with, how you’re protecting it, and how long you’re keeping it for.

GDPR has a number of very specific requirements you’re supposed to have in it.

And other companies have requirements too, such as Facebook and Google.

So, you have to get your privacy notice in order, and you can’t do that until you know what it is you have.

Cornelia: We’ve talked about segmenting your list so you can have a list for your European citizens and have a list for the rest of the world.

Is this something that is recommended right now?

Jodi: The other important part of GDPR is how you use the data.

You can’t just collect it and use it however you want.

You have to have what they call a legal basis to use it. One of the very common ones online is consent to be emailed.

The way we’ve been collecting consent is going to change under GDPR.

The email service providers are getting ready to help everyone to be able to do this from a technological standpoint.  But we have to do our jobs as the users to know how to use these tools.

Everyone is getting geared up to update the tools.

And what that means is— if I have a user from the US, I fall under the US laws, which means I can consent to anything, and I have to be able to let you opt out.

Under GDPR, I also have to let you opt out but you have to opt in.

And the opt in has to meet a bunch specific rules, and one of the very first rules is— it has to be specific, and I can’t have a prechecked box.

So, I can’t just give you my freebie and poof you’re automatically on my list.

As for the segmenting lists, the email service providers are starting to help you figure that out, depending on where your subscribers are from.

And it really depends on your business.

If you think you can separate your global customers like that, you can, but it’s just a lot to think about.

It’s a matter of how sophisticated your business is and how easy or not easy you want to make it.

I think it will be interesting to see how this will influence other areas.

If people get used to the GDPR way, will everyone get used to it and sort of come up stream with it, even if you don’t have to?

Cornelia: The opt-in checkbox is necessary?

Jodi: It’s absolutely necessary!

That’s what the emails service providers are working on.

You have to have that opt-in box.

The email service providers are giving you the tools, but you have to make sure you have the right language in place.

You have to have your privacy notice there, making sure it’s updated properly.

The other thing I think is important to know is that consent is not forever.

If five years from now, I have not opened anything from you, I should not be on your list.

Cornelia: About that consent, we get so many emails anymore that we forget what we signed up for and it usually goes straight into the spam folder.

So, I see this is as a good thing, like tidying out your closet.

Jodi: I agree! I think a lot of people talk about having a really big list, but other people are more into quality lists that are small but convert well and have high engagement.

It’s not always about quantity.

Cornelia: I couldn’t agree more.

Do you have templates with the correct verbiage?

Jodi: Yeah, I have some checklists that you can get from my GDPR Secret Weapon Compliance Kit right here.

I also have a Facebook group, called GDPR 101, where we talk a lot about this.

Cornelia: Can you give us some background on why this whole GDPR thing came about?

Jodi: It’s really interesting.

There’s actually a pre-existing privacy directive in place called the Data Protection Directive from 1995.

But times have changed a little bit as the digital era came around.

They realized that after 20 plus years it was time to update how personal data is being used.

I think a significant amount came from the digital world with advertising, tracking, and everything around email (stalking or not stalking, depending on who you ask).

As I mentioned, the original drafter is all about GDPR giving people back their rights to their digital data.

There are 28 different states in the EU, and they all had their different versions of the Data Protection Directive. And now there is one GDPR.

Each state can enforce it a little different.

And that was one big part, to try and level the playing field.

Fundamentally, if you take away all of the crazy rules and check-boxes, it’s about protecting the rights and freedom of an EU resident.

And this really goes back to WWI and WWII.

Some of those sensitive information areas of data, such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. could have some really negative impacts if people were profiled according to that information.

So, they’re trying to protect that privacy as a fundamental right.

When someone signs up for a freebie, it doesn’t always mean they want thirty more emails from your business.

And from a business prospective, it’s different than if you look at it from that person’s perspective; it helps to see what GDPR is all about.

Cornelia: It is really important to put yourself into the shoes of your customers.

There’s a human being behind every email you send, so just a little bit of sensitivity is really important.

Jodi: Exactly.

There’s a person behind that cookie, and that’s why they added that line about personal identifiers.

If you really use all of the technology and tools available, you can tell who “cookie 123” is, and that’s where GDPR is going.

Cornelia: Are there any loopholes?

Jodi: I’m sure there are some loopholes that are going to get figured out.

A lot of this is going to be in how you interpret it.

So, I mentioned you have to have a lawful basis.

The one part where I think you might find some is in “legitimate interest.”

It’s about how a business has to market to get business.

So, a company will say, “I can do all sorts of things to get business,” while the GDPR is saying, “no, that’s not quite what we had in mind.”

That’s where a lot of the gray areas are.

Cornelia: When someone opts in for our freebie, we automatically send them our newsletters, right?

Jodi: You have to add the verbiage so that they understand this.

You have, “Sign up for my freebie,” on your website, and you need that opt-in checkbox there.

It can’t be the way it used to be.

Just like in Facebook groups.

You can’t be asking for people’s email addresses to join groups because you need proof of that consent.

Consent is very complicated.

There are multiple pieces and it’s more than just this one simple form.

One of the pieces is that you can’t condition.

So, the freebie has value and you shouldn’t have to get the marketing to get the freebie.

Cornelia: What about existing subscribers?

Jodi: It applies retroactively. 

If you have met GDPR requirements with your existing list, then you’re okay. Keep emailing.

If you haven’t, then people are doing some re-permission campaigns.

But be careful with that.

Do not email people who have opted-out.

Big companies have gotten in trouble with that. GDPR is in effect now but will be enforced on May 25.

Cornelia: What would be some of the verbiage for that?

Jodi: You can say, “Hey, you’ve been a member, and we’re working on our compliance in GDPR, and we still want you to be part of our community. If you do want to be part of our community, click here.”

You have to get that consent.

They need to take some type of action.

But you have to be careful not to put conditions on that consent or you’re back in the same circle.

It’s a great relationship builder.

Yes, people are likely not to click and your list will get smaller, but the people who do click will be loyal followers who have found values in what you’re doing.

Cornelia: Thank you for sharing that.

It’s a great point.

You have to be careful with compliance partners.

Jodi: If you collect with an email service provider, you’re responsible as a business that who you are working is GDPR compliant.

If the vendor doesn’t figure it out, then you can’t use them.

Cornelia: When you have to confirm an opt-in, you have to click a link, and a lot of people don’t like to do that.

Jodi: The part of getting consent is on you as a business.

And people like the double opt-in because it confirms that it’s from the right person.

GDPR does not require the double opt-in, though Germany does.

It’s an industry best practice and it serves a great purpose because the burden of proof is on you.

Cornelia: Do you have a list of providers who have that double opt-in?

Jodi: All of the main ones that I can think of do: MailChimp, Convertkit, etc.

There’s one other part of GDPR that we haven’t touched on, and it’s called individual rights.

You’ve heard me say that GDPR is about the individual’s right to control their digital footprint, and a part of that is the right to be forgotten and the right to port data.

If I ask you to delete my data, that means to actually delete, not just unsubscribe or opt-out. Delete.

The idea for porting is more for e-commerce or a community where you have machine imported data.

That idea is that your data is yours and you should be able to have it, like a medical record or a Netflix movie record.

The opt-outs become a gray area for people who ask if they can market to people who have opted out on another platform, such as Facebook ad targeting.

Some people will say that opting out of an email doesn’t mean they have opted out on Facebook, while others will say that opting out is opting out, period.

I would say not to do that, that people who opt out don’t want to hear from you and that you should move on.

Cornelia: Have there been any talks about how strong the enforcement is going to be?

Jodi: I think you’ll find May 28, some well-known brands will be in the news again and made an example.

It’s a real law, and people need to take it seriously.

Cornelia: This was very helpful and easy to understand, so thank you!

Jodi: Don’t forget you can get a GDPR checklist from my GDPR Secret Weapon Compliancy Kit.

Also, be sure to check out the GDPR workshop if you’re in for some more in-depth knowledge. It helps businesses become compliant with GDPR without all of the confusing legal jargon. It’s very step-by-step. Limited spots available for that one and you can sign up here: https://corneliapauline–redcloveradvisors.thrivecart.com/gdpr-secret-weapon-workshop/

P.s. You might also enjoy: https://corneliapauline.com/2018/02/09/17-hats-review-powerful-business-app-small-businesses-like/

17 Hats Review: The MOST Powerful Business App (For Small Businesses Like Yours!)

This content may contain affiliate links which may result in me being financially compensated for purchases site visitors make through said links.
New here? Be sure to attend our FREE video series for service-based entrepreneurs on how to get high-end clients on Facebook. Register now!

Your business is going great.

You’ve started a few months ago and now you have several clients in your client folder and are excited to work with them.

However, you’re starting to feel really overwhelmed because you are using just a plain old (and sometimes very messy looking excel spreadsheet) to keep track of all your clients all the time.

You try and keep track of what information you need to get from them as well as when.

You need to keep track of invoicing and payment plans, etc.

It’s SO much to think about and that was definitely not something you thought you had to manage better when starting your business.

After all, when you first start out in your business, you need to focus on sales and getting re-occurring clients by doing an awesome job for them.

That part never fully stops.

However and in order to free up even more time so you can focus on sales and service your existing clients better, you need to automate your invoicing and on-boarding process.

In short, having a process is SO important when wanting to scale up your business!

Enter the miracle worker that is 17 Hats <3.

(Psst… already know you want in? Try 17 Hats free for 17 days!)

What are the benefits of using 17 Hats

In short, you are going to have everything in ONE place and one place alone.

Pretty cool, huh?

This also helps you get way more organized in your business.

And trust me, if I can get organized (I always think of myself as the creative type who actually has a pretty hard time getting organized lol), so can you ;).

Of course, there are many more cool features as well, such as:

Now, one thing should be clear after looking at the features.

You are going to able to organize a workflow inside 17 Hats which sends out an automated invoice to your client whenever payment is due.

Also, if you have payment plans in place, you can super easily pre-automate when and after what time frames, an invoice must go out to what client.

You put in the specifications for that once and benefit from its automation for years to come.

17 Hats also allowed you to get paid by credit card or the funds from the paid invoices will be deposited straight to your account.

Next, let me show you another cool feature of 17 Hats my team and I use all the time because it frees up so much time in our day-to-day operations.

The AUTOMATED client onboarding workflow.

I don’t know about you, but life can get busy and I’m not the most organized person…

One part of 17 hats that has been super helpful is the “workflows”.

A workflow is basically the process you take clients through, everything from sending the initial quote to delivery and ongoing maintenance.

While every client is unique and special in their own way, the process tends to be similar when I’m on a roll.

What I did is I looked at my latest client and created a workflow in 17 Hats from the emails, agreements, invoices, questionnaires I sent as well all the emails I should have sent to keep them up to date.

A workflow in 17 hats is something you set up once and when you trigger that workflow for a new project, it pre-populates the templates you set up for your email, agreements, invoices, questionnaires and progress emails.

Now for each stage in the process, you’ll be notified to review the template for that stage and make adjustments to customize it for the new customer), then it gets sent out after your approval and gets marked as complete and the next step is triggered for review and action.

I have found that this not only makes your life easier but creates the space to hire a project manager much much easier.

The final product pretty much looks something like this:

In conclusion

I ended up waiting way too long before starting to automate my invoicing and client onboarding process.

As a result, it directly hurt my business because I was not able to scale up as fast as I could have been.

So, I would really encourage you that even if you end up for whatever reason (although, I can not see why 😉 ), not using 17 Hats, to definitely figure out some other process that you can implement and automate.

After all, we want to run smart businesses and not have our business run us. Right?

If you found this article to be helpful, be sure to like and share it with your community. If you have any questions or are already using 17 Hats and are loving it, just let me know in the comments section down below.

P.s.:

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